Return of Virat Kohli: No threat to captaincy but he will be among "equals" in that dressing roomPTI | New Delhi | Updated: 20-01-2021 19:19 IST | Created: 20-01-2021 19:19 IST
First things first. There is no imminent threat to Virat Kohli's captaincy in any format and neither is BCCI even remotely thinking on those lines. But that's the news part of the story. When it comes to views, there are many -- some are quite open about the theory of split captaincy and some are speaking about it in hushed tones.
Ajinkya Rahane's calm demeanour in India's biggest overseas series win has opened up a debate but to disappoint the fans of the Test vice-captain, there is little chance of a permanent anointment for him in the immediate future.
While head coach Ravi Shastri is absolutely right in saying that this team bears Kohli's ''stamp and character'' but from December 19 in Adelaide to January 19 in Brisbane, a few senior cricketers will be perceived a bit differently.
These four will not ask for it as they have now earned it after quite literally putting their bodies on line.
On Tuesday, when PTI had put forth a question on this to stand-in skipper Rahane after the match got over but expectedly, his tight defence couldn't be breached.
The question was how would he feel when he again takes a back-seat with Kohli returning to the steering wheel in his hands.
While one can give a sound explanation for that decision but the fact that a vice-captain was dropped cannot be seen in isolation.
And however reticent or unexpressive he might be, his voice will now be heard if he wants it to be heard. That has changed certainly.
''His hundred put us back on track,'' Shastri was the first to acknowledge his impact.
Take Ravichandran Ashwin (12 wickets in 3 games which was just one behind the team's debutant star Mohammed Siraj) for example. Even he would agree that this series is his best overseas performance and the way he made Steve Smith his bunny would be remembered for a long time.
But has Ashwin, who will probably be the fourth Indian to reach 400-wicket club in some time, been feted as Nathan Lyon has been in his own country? Lyon's wickets at MCG, SCG and Adelaide are spoken in glowing terms but has the extremely cerebral cricketer got his due for all the wickets that he has taken at Chennai, Nagpur, Pune and Hyderabad? When find of the series Siraj (13 wickets) was racially abused, the public stance that Ashwin took and the statement he made was no less than Anil Kumble's statesmanship during the 'Monkeygate' series.
He spoke about how three seniors came together to rally around Siraj and comfort him when he faced abuse.
Pujara took those blows to show that resistance at times could also mean intent and like Shastri said, he is a ''Warrior'' who needs to be valued.
Pant was slipping down the radar but Rahane has put an arm around him and let him blossom in his own way.
Rohit looked good in three of the four innings and he had that calming influence on India's newest batting sensation Shubman Gill (259 runs) during those opening partnerships.
He has taken those five catches at the slips and certainly, as a part of the leadership group, he had a role in Navdeep Saini's pace being preferred over T Natarajan's swing at Sydney.
When the next team meeting is held, these four seniors will have their say and the skipper will have to seriously factor in their inputs, changing the dynamics to some extent.
''Never Above You, Never Below You, Always Beside You''.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)