Rahane still India's most important Test batsman, says Kohli after humbling loss

By Sports Desk February 09, 2021

Virat Kohli bristled at the suggestion that Ajinkya Rahane's place in the India batting line-up could be in jeopardy following a heavy first Test defeat to England in Chennai.

Needing an improbable 420 to win, India resumed the final day on 39-1 but Jack Leach (4-76) continued his impressive record in fourth innings and James Anderson (3-17) produced a masterful display of reverse swing to dismiss the hosts for 192.

From the moment visiting skipper Joe Root embarked upon his mammoth first-innings 218, India found themselves in the unusual position of being comprehensively outplayed on home soil.

It left Root's opposite number, Kohli, to field some awkward questions - not least on Rahane, who managed a solitary run in the match and has a highest score of 37 in the seven knocks following his superb century at Melbourne in the Boxing Day Test.

That effort saw vice-captain Rahane leading a stunning comeback series win from the front in Australia. India triumphed 2-1 in a four-match rubber following a thrashing in the first Test, after which Kohli went home for the birth of his first child.

"Look, if you're trying to dig something out, you're not going to get anything because there's nothing," Kohli told reporters, seemingly aware how him agreeing to Rahane being under pressure might look in the context of his heroics versus Australia.

"I've said this many times in the past as well - along with Cheteshwar Pujara, he is our most important Test batsman and he is going to continue to be.

"We believe in his abilities, we have believed in his abilities for a long time now and he's an impact player.

"If you're talking about the MCG Test, he stood up and scored a hundred when the team wanted it the most. So, you can look at a number of innings and what happens from thereon, but the reality of the situation is they've won the series in Australia."

As such, Kohli is satisfied his players remain in good form overall and appears unlikely to make wholesale changes for the second Test, which starts back at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday.

"There's absolutely no issues, everyone's playing really well and we just need to be focused a lot more, understand that Test victories are earned in any conditions - whether they're your own or you're playing away," Kohli added.

"Nothing is a given in Test cricket and we need to be aware of that reality and work together as a team to keep putting a lot of pressure on the opposition. That's our focus." 

Related items

  • Half centuries from Reifer, Greaves consolidate Barbados Pride advantage, Hinds fights back with five-for Half centuries from Reifer, Greaves consolidate Barbados Pride advantage, Hinds fights back with five-for

    Enterprising half-centuries from Raymon Reifer and, Justin Greaves, underpinned the Barbados Pride’s early advantage as they surged past the first innings total of T&T Red Force on day 2 of the West Indies Championship, at Tarouba, on Thursday.

    Resuming the day on 87 for 2, Reifer picked up where he left off overnight and went on to add another 45 to his total before being dismissed for 79, caught and bowled by Bryan Charles.  Not before he had played the chief role in a destructive partnership with Jonathan Carter who added an even 50 as the pair put on 101 for the third wicket.

    Roston Chase briefly joined Reifer at the crease but only managed to add 28 before being bowled by Terrance Hinds.  Greeves and Akeem Jordan then added a valuable 59 for the 7th wicket before the innings wrapped up at 294 all out, a lead of 161.  Hinds did his part to stem the damage after claiming best figures of 5 for 32.

    In their second time at the crease, T&T closed the day at 51 for 3. Keagan Simmons and Jason Mohammed are the not-out batsmen at the crease.

  • Archibald's ton and Cornwall's five-fer put Hurricanes in control against Volcanoes at Port-of-Spain Archibald's ton and Cornwall's five-fer put Hurricanes in control against Volcanoes at Port-of-Spain

    The Leeward Islands Hurricanes were in command at stumps on day two of their West Indies Championship match against the Windward Islands Volcanoes at Port-of-Spain on Thursday.

    At the close of play, the Leewards are 64-2 in their second innings, a lead of 224 with eight wickets in hand.

    Colin Archibald scored an unbeaten 106 as the Leewards compiled a score of 333 all out from 95.5 overs. Archibald’s knock rescued the Leewards from an uncomfortable 179-9 while sharing in a 10th-wicket stand of 154 with Daniel Doram, who scored a patient 43.

    Left-arm medium pacer Preston McSween was the pick of the Windwards bowlers with 5-92 from 27.5 overs. Kenneth Dember took 2-77.

    Needing 334 to overhaul the Leewards’ total, the Windwards only lasted 55 overs and were bowled out for 173 thanks to Rahkeem Cornwall, who took 5-61 in 22 overs of his off-breaks. He was supported by fast-medium pacer Jeremiah Louis who returned figures of 3-26 from 14 overs.

    Only Kerron Cottoy offered any real resistance to the Leewards’ attack with an unbeaten on 73 when the innings closed.

    Opener Devon Smith, 35, Alick Athanaze, 12, and Denis Smith, 11, were the only other batters in double figures.

    With a commanding lead of 160, the Leewards extended that lead beyond 200 runs by the close with Montcin Hodge (24) and Kieran Powell (18), the batsmen dismissed.

    Ross Powell (14) and Devon Thomas (3) will resume their innings on Friday, hoping to put the match beyond the reach of the Windward Islands.

    McSween (1-7) and Josh Thomas (1-12) were the wicket takers.

     

     

  • West Indies Championship squads updated as ODI representatives head to the Netherlands West Indies Championship squads updated as ODI representatives head to the Netherlands

    Five West Indies Championship squads have been updated as members of the West Indies team have made their way over to the Netherlands for their three-match One Day International series with the Dutch followed by a three-match ODI tour of Pakistan.

    Leaders of the West Indies Championship after three rounds, Barbados Pride, have roped in fast bowler Miguel Cummins and batsman Jonathan Drakes to replace West Indies ODI vice-captain Shai Hope, who scored a well-played 119 against Guyana in round three, and Shamarh Brooks.

    The Leeward Islands Hurricanes currently sit second behind the Pride and have brought in Jahmar Hamilton and Kofi James to replace Hayden Walsh Jr and Keacy Carty.

    The Jamaica Scorpions have replaced round three centurion Brandon King and Nkrumah Bonner with Alwyn Williams and Brad Barnes, while the Windward Islands Volcanoes have replaced Sherman Lewis with Ryan John.

    The Trinidad and Tobago Red Force have had to make the most changes with Jyd Goolie, Sharron Lewis, and Terrance Hinds coming in for Akeal Hosein, Jayden Seales, and Anderson Phillip.

    Full squads for Round 4:

    Barbados Pride: Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain), Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Keon Harding, Chaim Holder, Akeem Jordan, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Ramon Simmonds, Jomel Warrican, Camarie Boyce, Justin Greaves, Miguel Cummins, Jonathan Drakes.

    Guyana Harpy Eagles: Leon Johnson (Captain), Keemo Paul, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Tevin Imlach, Vishaul Singh, Akshaya Persaud, Veerasammy Permaul, Anthony Bramble, Gudakesh Motie, Nial Smith, Demetri Cameron, Antony Adams, Kevin Sinclair, Ronsford Beaton.

    Jamaica Scorpions: John Campbell (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Leroy Lugg, Oraine Williams, Aldaine Thomas, Gordon Bryan, Paul Palmer Jr., Jamie Merchant, Marquino Mindley, Nicholson Gordon, Derval Green, Patrick Harty, Kirk McKenzie, Alwyn Williams, Brad Barnes.

    Leeward Islands Hurricanes: Rahkeem Cornwall (Captain), Devon Thomas, Amir Jangoo, Kieran Powell, Colin Archibald, Terence Warde, Jeremiah Louis, ​ Sheno Berridge, Daniel Doram, Damion Williams, Ross Powell, Kian Pemberton, Jahmar Hamilton, Kofi James

    Trinidad & Tobago Red Force: Imran Khan (Captain), Jason Mohammed, Jeremy Solozano, Isaiah Rajah, Khary Pierre, Shannon Gabriel, Darren Bravo, Terrance Hinds, Bryan Charles, Yannic Cariah, Sharron Lewis, Uthman Muhammad, Jyd Goolie, Keagan Simmons, Joshua Da Silva. 

    Windward Islands Volcanoes: Kavem Hodge (Captain), Keron Cottoy, Denis Smith, Devon Smith, Ackeem Auguste, Alick Athanaze, Alick Athanaze, Daurius Martin, Desron Maloney, Josh Thomas, Kenneth, Dember, Kimani Melius, Preston McSween, Ryan John, Teddy Bishop, Larry Edward.

     

     

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.