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Ajinkya Rahane has done a great job, but captaincy is Virat Kohli's as long as he wants it: Ricky Ponting 

Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli
Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli
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Modified 27 Dec 2020, 16:51 IST
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Australian legend Ricky Ponting was all praise for Ajinkya Rahane's captaincy on Sunday. However, he added that regular skipper Virat Kohli is still the man for the job as long as he wants it.

Ajinkya Rahane scored a determined 104 not out on Day Two of the Melbourne Test. He surpassed Virat Kohli's runs record at the MCG. The Mumbaikar also became only the second Indian captain since Sachin Tendulkar to notch a ton at the MCG.

Earlier in the game, Rahane had marshaled his troops expertly and drew praise for his tactics from experts and fans. Talking to cricket.com.au, Ricky Ponting commended the interim captain for his job. The former Aussie skipper also commented on the comparisons between Kohli and Rahane.

"I think he (Ajinkya Rahane) has done a great job to pick up the pieces from Adelaide with this team, lead really well in the field yesterday and you can see he's playing like a captain now as well He wants to play that captain's knock; he wants to get a hundred in Virat's absence and do the best thing he can to try and drag his country and his team back into this series," said Ponting.
"Virat will be captain of India as long as he wants to, but if he thinks standing down is going to make him an even better player, then that’s a scary thing for world cricket," added Ponting.

Virat Kohli had led India to triumph in the 2018 edition of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. He is currently on paternity leave.

Ajinkya Rahane has done a special job: Ricky Ponting

Ajinkya Rahane celebrates his 12th ton on Day 2
Ajinkya Rahane celebrates his 12th ton on Day 2

Ajinkya Rahane had arrived in Melbourne with increased responsibility on his shoulders. He had to lift his team from the dismal outing at Adelaide while also trying to shrug off his own poor batting form. Ricky Ponting said Rahane has done an exceptional job carrying the team.

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"I'm not doubting Kohli's captaincy skills or credentials at all, I'm just saying it's going to take something special to pick up the pieces and Rahane's been able to do that so far. I don’t think there'll be pressure from anywhere else for Kohli to do that but let's wait and see," said Ponting.

India has taken a substantial 82-run lead in the 2nd Test match. Ravindra Jadeja is on the pitch with Ajinkya Rahane and the duo looked settled on Sunday. However, considering they will have to bat last in the game, Indian batsmen can't afford to be complacent.

Published 27 Dec 2020, 16:51 IST
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