Ian Chappell is mighty impressed with Ajinkya Rahane‘s aggressive captaincy, allaying fears how India may react after Virat Kohli leaves the Australia tour following the conclusion of the first Test in Adelaide. Kohli has been given paternity leave by the BCCI and in his absence Rahane is expected to lead the team for the remainder of the four-Test series. Also Read - Inside Yuvraj Singh-Hazel Keech’s Rs 64 Crore Sprawling Apartment in Mumbai- See PICS
Chappell recalled the Dharamsala Test of 2017 between India and Australia where he liked how Rahane wasn’t averse to taking on his opponents with bold decisions. Also Read - David Warner Admits Rushing Injury Return For India Test Series Was a Mistake
“Well, I saw him (Rahane) captain in one Test against Australia (in Dharamsala) and found his captaincy to be fabulous. He was really an aggressive captain,” Chappell told PTI. Also Read - India vs England 2021: Fit Umesh Yadav Likely to Replace Jasprit Bumrah in Team India's Playing XI For 4th Test in Ahmedabad
“I remember a couple of aspects about his captaincy. What stood out for me was in the Australian first innings, Warner was going well and getting on top of Indian bowlers. He brought in Kuldeep Yadav (debutant) and he dismissed Warner.”
“The second thing I remember was India chasing a low total and they lost a couple of wickets. Rahane just came in and attacked the Australian bowlers and scored some 20 odd (38 off 27 balls). I liked that approach,” he added.
Chappell, a former Australia captain, thinks Rahane has an aggressive mindset which is the correct approach when it comes to the longest format. The 32-year-old has led India twice in Tests, once against Australia in 2017 and the second against Afghanistan.
India emerged victorious both times.
“Look, as a captain, you always have two choices — one is the aggressive route and the other is a conservative approach. I have believed that in Test cricket aggressive approach is must and Rahane is aggressive,” Chappell opined.
Australia’s Opening Woes
Chappell reckons Australia do have an edge over India going into the first Test but the absence of injured David Warner will slightly help the tourists.
“Everything that could have gone wrong with opening has gone wrong. Warner is out and Joe Burns has been struggling. Will Pucovski after another concussion, I don’t think it would be good to play him both in terms of confidence and medical point of view,” he said.
“I think Australians will go with Joe Burns and Marcus Harris opening combination. I thought Cameron Green would have played in Sydney but after his century in the warm-up game and a couple of wickets that he picked, there may be a temptation to play him in Adelaide,” he added.
For Chappell, the biggest concern for Australia is their top-order right now.
“But top order is the biggest concern. It’s not just about Warner’s presence but the manner in which he scores those runs as has detrimental effect on the opposition. In his absence, the responsibility will now be on Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne,” Chappell said.