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  5. Kohli still 'god-like' figure in India: Vaughan on Rahane's emergence as captaincy candidate

Kohli still 'god-like' figure in India: Vaughan on Rahane's emergence as captaincy candidate

Kohli, who missed the last three Tests in Australia for the birth of his child, will be leading India from the first match of the four-Test series against England.

India TV Sports Desk Written by: India TV Sports Desk New Delhi Updated on: February 04, 2021 20:10 IST
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has said that current skipper Virat Kohli is still 'god-like' figure in India despite Ajinkya Rahane's heroics in the recently-concluded Test series in Australia. Rahane, in Kohli's absence, led India in the remaining three Tests as the touring party toppled Australia in Brisbane to clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1.

Despite Rahane's calm mindset and impressive captaincy stint, Vaughan believes Kohli remains the man in charge for the Test series against England, slated to start from Friday in Chennai. Kohli, who missed the last three Tests in Australia for the birth of his child, will be leading India from the first match of the four-Test series against Joe Root and Co.

"Virat Kohli is still the main man, make no mistake. He is still that god-like figure in India, let alone Indian cricket, and he will be very much in charge for Friday’s first Test against England.

"All the 2-1 win over Australia did was give India another option as captain if things do not go according to plan, because Ajinkya Rahane did exceptionally well taking charge of the last three Tests while Kohli was on paternity leave," wrote Vaughan in his column in Daily Mail.

"That was one of the greatest wins in India’s history and Rahane, with his calm captaincy style, would have taken a lot of credit. So that might add a bit of pressure to the returning Kohli," he further wrote. 

Vaughan also believes that the possibility of Rahane taking the charge from Kohli is likely to increase if India lose the first Test and go 1-0 down in the series. 

"What I would say is something that was unthinkable just a couple of months ago — Kohli one day being replaced as captain is a possibility now. And if the first Test in Chennai doesn’t go well for India — and that’s a massive ‘if’ — the whole country will be asking whether Rahane should have stayed in charge.

"That’s why England must start well. If India bully them in this first Test and go 1-0 up, everything will be forgotten and Kohli will be the king again," he wrote.

Rahane himself has said that he's ready to take a backseat and contribute as vice-captain by offering suggestions when asked by skipper Kohli.

"My job is to take a backseat and try and help Virat as captain. There are too many things on captain's mind so as a vice-captain, you have to visualise situations, think about what can happen in the game and if captain asks you for suggestion then you should be ready. 

My job is really easy. I take a backseat. Whenever he asks me about certain things, I go and tell him. For me, I generally take a backseat whenever he is the captain," said Rahane while speaking to the media ahead of first Test.

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