Indian Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has come forward to support and praise Rohit Sharma’s captaincy amidst criticism and scrutiny. Rahane, who has played under the leadership of Rohit Sharma in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia, expressed his admiration for the way Rohit leads the team. Rahane emphasized Rohit’s ability to provide freedom to players and back their game, which he believes are essential qualities of a good captain.

Rohit Sharma’s Captaincy and Recent Criticism:

Rohit Sharma took over as India’s full-time captain from Virat Kohli in the previous year. Expectations were high for Rohit, given his exceptional record as a leader for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, India faced setbacks under Rohit’s captaincy, with losses in the semi-final of the 2022 T20 World Cup and the final of the 2023 World Test Championship.

Rahane’s Support for Rohit Sharma:

Despite the criticism surrounding Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, Ajinkya Rahane stood firmly behind him. Rahane acknowledged that playing under Rohit’s captaincy feels great and highlighted the freedom given to players to back their game. According to Rahane, this is a significant characteristic of a good captain. He further expressed satisfaction with his equation with Rohit and their working relationship.

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Opportunity for Others in the West Indies Tests:

With the absence of Cheteshwar Pujara in the West Indies Tests, Rahane emphasized that it presents an opportunity for someone else to make their mark. He believes it is a great chance for an individual to perform well and contribute to the team’s success. Rahane mentioned the team’s experienced players and their current form, expressing confidence in their abilities.

Rahane on Mohammed Shami’s Absence:

In addition to Pujara, senior pacer Mohammed Shami has been rested for the West Indies series. Rahane mentioned that while Shami’s absence is noticeable, it provides an opportunity for other fast bowlers to step up. He highlighted Mohammed Siraj’s presence as a senior bowler and the experience of Jaydev Unadkat and other players in the squad. Rahane expressed optimism that the bowlers would seize the opportunity and perform well.

Rahane’s Comeback and Role in the Team:

Ajinkya Rahane returned to the team after a gap of 18 months and expressed his happiness to be back as the vice-captain. He stated that he is used to the role of vice-captain, having served in that position for almost four to five years previously. Rahane commended Rohit Sharma for providing freedom to players, mentioning that it is a trait of a great captain.

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Rahane’s Fitness and Performance:

Rahane highlighted his improved fitness and the work he has put into enhancing his batting skills. He expressed confidence in his current form and stated that he enjoys playing cricket without thinking too much about the future. Rahane attributed his successful IPL season and domestic performances to the freedom provided by the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team management.

Praise for Yashasvi Jaiswal and Focus on Game Plan:

Ajinkya Rahane praised young talent Yashasvi Jaiswal, who is likely to make his debut at No. 3 for India. He commended Jaiswal’s performances in domestic cricket and advised him to express his batting skills and focus on playing his natural game. Rahane emphasized the team’s preparation and game plan ahead of the West Indies series, stating that the focus is on starting well in Test cricket and backing the team’s strategies.

Conclusion:

Ajinkya Rahane’s support for Rohit Sharma’s captaincy reflects the camaraderie and unity within the Indian cricket team. Rahane’s admiration for Rohit’s leadership qualities, such as providing freedom to players, showcases the positive atmosphere under Rohit’s captaincy. Despite recent disappointments, Rahane’s backing of Rohit and the team’s overall spirit bode well for the upcoming West Indies Tests. With Rahane’s experience and determination, along with the opportunities for other players, India aims to perform strongly and overcome any challenges they may face under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy.

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