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'Kohli should step down as Test captain'

By Rediff Cricket
January 22, 2021 14:07 IST
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'Maybe Kohli can offer to make an honourable way for Rahane to take over during the series against England at home.'
'I can assure no bad blood would be caused when we ensure that the larger picture on the canvas is Indian cricket.'

Ajinkya Rahane

Photograph: Kind courtesy Ajinkya Rahane/Twitter
 

Bishan Singh Bedi lauded Ajinkya Rahane's captaincy in India's Test series win in Australia, and suggested that Virat Kohli should hand over the leadership role to Rahane.

Kohli can prolong his career as a batsman in the longest format of the game, Bedi argued.

The legendary left-arm spinner -- who captained India in 22 Tests -- was impressed with the way Rahane led India and compared his captaincy to Mansur Ali Khan 'Tiger' Pataudi's, and said the Indian bowlers thrive under Rahane's captaincy.

'Personally, I am floored with the way Rahane conjured magic from broken bodies around him. The way he handled his meagre resources reminds me of Tiger Pataudi, who throughout his captaincy tenure was woefully short of a well-rounded unit, but his leadership alone gave Indian cricket fresh legs,' Bedi wrote in the Indian Express newspaper.

'It was Pataudi who defined an 'Indianness' in our cricket. He infused in us a thrilling sense of being together in this ride,' Bedi pointed out.

'I've observed Rahane pretty closely on this tour. The hallmark of any captain is his ability to handle the bowling resources. This is where yours truly has become an absolute 'mureed' of Rahane,' declared Bedi.

'Three Tests is good enough time to assess a captain's bowling changes and fielding placements. I tried hard, but I couldn't find a single Rahane move which could be questioned by armchair critics like me.'

India, Bedi said, should decide between having Kohli as a great batsman and Kohli the 'mediocre captain'.

'I hope I am not giving the impression of bending my back to build a case for Rahane to take over as Test captain. If anything my sincere aim is to prolong Virat Kohli's batting career for the country,' Bedi stated.

'Shared responsibilities in cricket are different from corporate/political fields whence individuals are almost vying for cut-throat glory. In sports, especially cricket, captains can be seen swimming or sinking with the teams they lead.'

'Another ticklish thought pops up in my mind: Does India need Virat Kohli the great batsman or Virat Kohli a mediocre captain in the long run?' Bedi asked.

'Providence has provided us with an instant option. Rahane can lead in Tests while Kohli and Rohit Sharma can share the duties in white-ball cricket. I am certain none of the selectors would want to own up this responsibility.'

'Maybe Kohli can offer to make an honourable way for Rahane to take over during the series against England at home. I can assure no bad blood would be caused when we ensure that the larger picture on the canvas is Indian cricket.'

Kohli, who left the Australian tour after the first Test in Adelaide on paternity leave, will return as captain for the home Test series against England.

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