Ahead of the second Test in Melbourne against Australia, Ajinkya Rahane has said that it is a proud moment for him to captain India in the Boxing Day Test. Regular skipper Virat Kohli has returned home for the birth of his first child. Rahane, who has the experience of leading India on numerous occasions, said the focus is not him but on how well the team performs as a unit after going down 1-0 in the Test series.
“It’s a proud moment for me to captain India and obviously it’s a great opportunity and responsibility as well. I don’t want to take any pressure and I want to back my team,” Rahane said in a virtual press conference. “As a team, we need to do well so focus is not on me, it’s on the team and how we need to well in Australia we are focusing on that,” he added.
Australia has always been known for distracting their opponents with tactics like sledging but Rahane wants his players to focus on themselves.
“Australians are very good at playing mind games and then let them do that. We are just focusing on ourselves, we will back ourselves as a team as a unit,” he said.
Rahane had led India to an eight-wicket victory against Australia in the fourth Test in Dharamsala in 2017.
“From the 2017 Dharamsala Test I learned that backing your instinct, backing your methods, and staying true to your style (is the right approach),” he said.
India made four changes in their bid to bounce back from their shellacking in Adelaide. A combination of poor form, injury and regular skipper Virat Kohli’s paternity leave forced the changes, which would see top order batsman Shubman Gill and quick Mohammed Siraj making their debut in the Boxing Day Test.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 25, 2020
Fit-again all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant returned to the side. Out-of-form opener Prithvi Shaw and stumper Wriddhiman Saha were dropped while Siraj owes his inclusion to the hand injury Mohammed Shami suffered while batting in Adelaide.