Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21: Will Ajinkya Rahane have captaincy pressure on Virat Kohli's absence?

First Published Dec 14, 2020, 5:15 PM IST

India would be engaged in a four-Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, starting Thursday. The side would be led by Virat Kohli in the opening Test, before he flies back to India, ahead of the birth of his first child, as Ajinkya Rahane would take over the captaincy honours.

<p>As India prepare to take on Australia in a four-Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, starting Thursday, all eyes would be on skipper Virat Kohli, who will have a grave task of helping the Indians get off to a winning start. Meanwhile, he would fly back to India after the first Test, ahead of the birth of his first child, as Ajinkya Rahane would take on the captaincy duties from the second Test.</p>

As India prepare to take on Australia in a four-Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, starting Thursday, all eyes would be on skipper Virat Kohli, who will have a grave task of helping the Indians get off to a winning start. Meanwhile, he would fly back to India after the first Test, ahead of the birth of his first child, as Ajinkya Rahane would take on the captaincy duties from the second Test.

<p>Meanwhile, this would be the third time that Rahane would lead the side, besides having already done so in the two warm-up clashes, that ended in a draw. Furthermore, it is being believed that Rahane might be under pressure to perform, provided India fail to win the opening Test.</p>

Meanwhile, this would be the third time that Rahane would lead the side, besides having already done so in the two warm-up clashes, that ended in a draw. Furthermore, it is being believed that Rahane might be under pressure to perform, provided India fail to win the opening Test.

<p>Speaking on the same, former Indian skipper, Sunil Gavaskar feels, "There is no real pressure on Ajinkya Rahane, because both the times that he has led the team, he has won. He led against Australia at Dharamshala and India won. He led against Afghanistan and India won."</p>

Speaking on the same, former Indian skipper, Sunil Gavaskar feels, "There is no real pressure on Ajinkya Rahane, because both the times that he has led the team, he has won. He led against Australia at Dharamshala and India won. He led against Afghanistan and India won."

<p>"So, as far as his captaincy is concerned, there is going to be no pressure, because he knows he is at the moment, only the stand-in captain for the three Test matches. So, I don't think the fact about being a captain or carrying on as captain is going to be part of his thinking at all. He will do the job as honestly as he plays his cricket, which means, as a batsman, he will go out there and try and let Pujara try and grind the opposition in and play few more shots maybe," added Gavaskar, while speaking to <em>Star Sports</em>.</p>

"So, as far as his captaincy is concerned, there is going to be no pressure, because he knows he is at the moment, only the stand-in captain for the three Test matches. So, I don't think the fact about being a captain or carrying on as captain is going to be part of his thinking at all. He will do the job as honestly as he plays his cricket, which means, as a batsman, he will go out there and try and let Pujara try and grind the opposition in and play few more shots maybe," added Gavaskar, while speaking to Star Sports.

<p>Meanwhile, Gavaskar also feels that charismatic Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara will have a huge role to play, especially following the absence of senior opener, Rohit Sharma. Pujara was the Man of the Series during the last visit, having scored 521 runs.</p>

Meanwhile, Gavaskar also feels that charismatic Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara will have a huge role to play, especially following the absence of senior opener, Rohit Sharma. Pujara was the Man of the Series during the last visit, having scored 521 runs.

<p>"Out of 20 days of Test cricket that we have ahead of us, we are really happy to have him bat for 15 days, there is no question about it. ... He loves batting, he loves being at the crease, he loves wearing the bowlers down. In the last two years, he has also improved his strokes and range of shots," Gavaskar said on Pujara.</p>

"Out of 20 days of Test cricket that we have ahead of us, we are really happy to have him bat for 15 days, there is no question about it. ... He loves batting, he loves being at the crease, he loves wearing the bowlers down. In the last two years, he has also improved his strokes and range of shots," Gavaskar said on Pujara.

<p>"... he hurt us badly. We are of a generation now where we are admiring people for their stroke play, we are admiring people for their strike-rate. Well, he is one of the few guys in Test cricket that have a strike-rate of sub 45 and he can hurt you," former Australian opener, Matthew Hayden, opined on the same.</p>

"... he hurt us badly. We are of a generation now where we are admiring people for their stroke play, we are admiring people for their strike-rate. Well, he is one of the few guys in Test cricket that have a strike-rate of sub 45 and he can hurt you," former Australian opener, Matthew Hayden, opined on the same.