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Funny, people who wanted Rahane out now want him in: Kohli

Saturday, January 13, 2018
By Chetan Narula

Centurion: India captain Virat Kohli took a dig at critics questioning Ajinkya Rahane's exclusion in the first Test against South Africa, stating that those who wanted his deputy's omission are now clamouring for his comeback.

"It's funny how things change in a matter of weeks, or just about five days. Before the first Test no-one thought that he should be in the eleven and now suddenly people are looking at the other option," Kohli said on the eve of the second Test, here. The captain's comment is interesting given that Rahane's selection in the playing XI had not been called into question even once.

In fact, given his stupendous overseas record, it came as quite a shocker when his name was missing from the final XI for the first Test which India lost by 72 runs in three playing days in Cape Town. "For us as a team, it's all about finding the right balance. If players fit in in the kind of balance we want to go in with as a side, then they will fit in. We certainly don't go on opinions that are created outside, and talk of the town and all those sort of things," Kohli's sarcasm at the pre-match conference was not lost on anyone.

"He (Rahane) is a quality player. He has done well in South Africa, in all conditions actually away from home. He is probably been our most consistent and solid player away from home," the skipper said.

He repeated that Rohit Sharma was selected because of his current form. "I explained the reasons why Rohit Sharma started ahead of him. I am not saying that Ajinkya cannot or will not start in this game. Possibilities are all open at the moment and we shall decide after practice."

While the skipper dropped hints that there might be changes in the playing XI without divulging any further. "As far as the opening combination goes, we will decide today at the end of practice what is it that we are going to go within this game. We might do something different also but there is definitely no need to panic."

The wicket promises ample pace and bounce, but doesn't have as much green grass unlike the Newlands' wicket, reckons Kohli.

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