Terming Ajinkya Rahane a ‘bowler’s captain’, India fast bowler Ishant Sharma backed the right-hander to lead India well in the remaining three Tests against Australia. Rahane is slated to undergo the biggest test of his captaincy skills as he gears up to lead India from the second Test in Melbourne starting on December 26 as regular captain Virat Kohli flew back home for the birth of his first child after playing the first Test match in Adelaide, which India lost by 8 wickets.
At a time when India are bombarded with criticism for recording their lowest ever total of 36 in Test cricket, Ishant, whose absence in the four-match series due to an injury is also proving to be costly, said Rahane’s calm demeanour will help the side ride through this storm.
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Unlike an often-animated Kohli, Rahane maintains a low profile on the field and the bowlers are likely to be consulted more in the last three tests under him, said Ishant.
“He’s very confident and I must say he’s a bowler’s captain,” the right-arm bowler, who missed the tour with a side strain injury, told the ESPNcricinfo website.
“We’ve played so many times together. Whenever Virat was not there, he’d ask me ‘What kind of field you want? When you want to bowl? Do you want to go on (bowling)?’
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“He’s a bowler’s captain. He’s not someone who’d say ‘do this or do that’,” said Ishant who has played the one-off Test against Afghanistan in Rahane’s captaincy.
Ishant said it is nearly impossible to match Kohli’s energy on the field, Rahane’s composed presence could help India during pressure situations.
“If there’s a partnership growing and it’s a flat phase when fielders are just going through their motions, one player’s energy level can change the scenario,” he said.
“The kind of energy Virat brings to the table … not everyone can match that.
“Jinx (Rahane) spreads calm energy in a pressure situation. There won’t be any tension, he’d communicate with the bowlers very well.”
The lanky fast bowler also added that even when Kohli is around, Rahane makes sure to have a word with the fast bowlers regularly, acting as a bridge between the fast bowlers and the captain.