No captaincy pressure on Rahane in Kohli’s absence, says Gavaskar

Mumbai: Ahead of the much-anticipated Test series against Australia, former India batsman Sunil Gavaskar feels that there will no pressure on vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli in the longest format.

Rahane is set to take on the role of stand-in captain in the three games of the series as Kohli will be playing just the first Test against Australia and then return home after being granted paternity leave by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Former skipper Gavaskar added that Rahane will do his job as honestly as he plays his cricket as the right-handed batsman has previously led the Indian team to victory on two occasions.

Speaking on Star Sports show GAME PLAN, Gavaskar said, “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 in Dharamshala and India won. He led against Afghanistan and India won. 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 3 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,” he added.

The first Test of the four-match series, beginning on December 17 will be played at the Adelaide Oval and it would be a day-night contest. Australia has the best-record in day-night Tests as the side has not lost a single match that has been played with the pink ball.

Australia had won the ODI series while the Men in Blue walked away with the honours in the T20I series.

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