Politician and cricket buff Shashi Tharoor said that Virat Kohli’s absence from the last three Tests in Australia proved a blessing in disguise as Ajinkya Rahane’s calm leadership moulded a bunch of toiling cricketers into match-winners Down Under.
Speaking to Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu in an SK Live session on Facebook, Tharoor explained that the inexperienced Indian players playing in Australia could relate to Ajinkya Rahane’s settled style of captaincy.
“I think this particular team ended up needing Rahane’s style of leadership. He gave them confidence and inspiration. In some ways, Virat (Kohli) is almost too much the superhuman for others to believe they can be like him."
Describing Ajinkya Rahane as a hard worker, Tharoor added that the skipper’s 'grit and determination clearly rubbed off on the rest of the team'.
Losing Virat Kohli felt like a body blow: Shashi Tharoor
Shashi Tharoor also admitted that when regular Team India captain Virat Kohli headed back to India after the Adelaide debacle, it was a body blow for the team, despite Ajinkya Rahane's presence.
The MP, however, backed Virat Kohli’s decision to return to India to be with his wife Anushka Sharma for the birth of their first child. Explaining his stance on Virat Kohli absence, Tharoor said:
“Obviously, as a cricket fan, I would have been happy if he (Kohli) had stayed back. But, as a human being, as a father myself, and as an advocate of equal rights, I think that his wife deserved his support if she sought it. And, he wanted to give it to her. It was very much within his rights to do so. I would never deny it. If he was my son, I would say go for it, do what’s the right thing.”
He further added:
“As a cricket fan, I felt that’s really a body blow (losing Kohli) for us in many many ways. But look, at the end of the day what happene, we actually came out of this none the worse in Virat’s absence.”
Under Ajinkya Rahane, India lifted the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on Tuesday, following a record-breaking chase of 328 runs at the Gabba.
Rishabh Pant (89 not out), Shubman Gill (91) and Cheteshwar Pujara (56) were the heroes of the day for the injury-depleted visitors.