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Ajinkya Rahane is Virat Kohli’s choice over Karun Nair for India vs Bangladesh

Ajinkya Rahane’s hard work over the last two years ahead of India vs Bangladesh Test has been appreciated by Virat Kohli. Rahane was replaced by Karun Nair in the last two Tests against England and he went on to score a triple ton

cricket Updated: Feb 08, 2017 14:03 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times
Virat Kohli,Ajinkya Rahane,Karun Nair
Virat Kohli, Indian cricket team captain, has fully backed Ajinkya Rahane, who is returning from injury, for the India vs Bangladesh Test. Rahane will be preferred over Karun Nair for the one-off Test.(AFP)

Karun Nair may have scored a triple hundred in the last Test match Indian cricket team played, but captain Virat Kohli made it clear that comeback man Ajinkya Rahane will get the preference.

Rahane had missed the last two England Tests due to a finger injury and is now fit to take the field.

“Karun did well but we cannot ignore what Jinx (Ajinkya Rahane) has done over the past two years. He has put in lots of hard work and has performed,” said Kohli a day before India play Bangladesh in the one-off Test at the Rajiv Gandhu Stadium at Uppal.

Kohli says the team management’s focus is to back players making a comeback from injury. “The big challenge,” he says, is to “ensure that we back players making a comeback and keep the youngsters in the squad and groom them.”

“We are lucky that we have a bench strength. We have a pool of 20-30 players from which we can choose,” added Kohli.

‘Bangladesh need to play more Tests’

The India skipper said although they are not taking Bangladesh lightly, they aren’t really worried about the threat posed by them. Bangladesh are playing their first-ever Test in India.

“It is a historic moment. Bangladesh are a good side. They have good batsmen. They did well in New Zealand. But they don’t play enough cricket. They should play more to understand the mindset of Test cricket,” Kohli added.

Asked if he was worried about the opposition, which has a good spin attack and is used to performing in the subcontinental conditions, the Indian captain said: “We will play like we do against any other team.”

Like Kumble, who praised the bowlers on Tuesday, Kohli too gave credit to them for the recent victories and said that India are hoping they do an encore against Bangladesh.

“It is the bowlers who have won us Test matches over the last one year. They have taken 20 wickets,” he pointed out.

First Published: Feb 08, 2017 12:38 IST