Saba Karim feels that India should be lucky to have two great leaders in the team rather than worry about a change in guard from Virat Kohli to Ajinkya Rahane.
Former cricketer and national selector Saba Karim have put his weight behind Virat Kohli’s captaincy amidst the ongoing debate that the Indian team should look at vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane as the skipper in Test cricket after he led the side to a famous series win in Australia last month.
Saba Karim : Good To Have Diverse Personalities In A Team As Leaders
Virat Kohli is the current captain in all three formats but had to leave after the first Test defeat in Adelaide in December for his paternity leave. Ajinkya Rahane then took charge in his absence and led India to a come-from-behind 2-1 series win to become the second Asian skipper after Virat Kohli to clinch a Test series in Australia.
But Saba Karim is of the opinion that India should be lucky to have two great leaders in the team rather than worry about a change in guard from Virat Kohli to Ajinkya Rahane.
“To be honest, I feel all such discussions are quite unnecessary. We should feel blessed because we have 2 senior players who can lead the side: Virat Kohli as captain and Ajinkya Rahane as vice-captain,” Karim told Sportskeeda.
“And it is good to have diverse personalities in a team as leaders. One lead with so much aggression, the other is very calm but the result is the same and both are extremely effective. They know how to handle tough situations and how to inspire their colleagues and that’s what India needs at this stage.”
In the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy, after being bundled out for 36 in the second innings of the 1st Test against Australia, and with Virat Kohli set to leave for India, the critics had written the Indian team off with many experts predicting a clean sweep for Tim Paine-led Australia. Ajinkya Rahane had different plans and he set the tone for a dramatic turnaround for the visitors with a match-winning ton in the 2nd Test at Melbourne.
He was the guiding light for the youngsters like Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj and T Natarajan who stepped up in the absence of senior players like Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja and gave their best to outclass the Aussies in their own backyard.
Saba Karim : Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane And Team Management Will Come Up With Right Solution To Ease Pressure On Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli has led in 56 Tests (33 wins, 13 losses, 10 draws) so far and has a win percentage of nearly 59 whereas Ajinkya Rahane is yet to lose a game as captain after 5 matches (4 wins, 1 draw).
“At the same time, I feel that it is equally important for the selectors to have this constant engagement with Virat in the terms of his responsibilities as a captain in all three formats. You have to allow that kind of space to a player like Virat Kohli who has led the side with distinction for so many years.”
“Is he comfortable leading all three formats? Because this is the year we play the T20 World Cup, we have the ODI World Cup coming up, plus the Test matches are now part of a World Test series.”
“Is he happy with the kind of responsibility that is given to him? If you have this kind of conversation with the captain, I am sure Virat, Ajinkya Rahane and the team management will come up with the right kind of solution to ease the pressure on Virat,” Saba Karim said.
Virat Kohli returned from his paternity leave last month after his wife Anushka Sharma gave birth to the couple’s first child on January 11. He will lead the Indian team in the upcoming 4-Test series against England starting in Chennai from February 5.