Hyderabad, Feb 8: India skipper Virat Kohli has backed 'solid batsman' Ajinkya Rahane over triple centurion Karun Nair for the one-off Test against Bangladesh, starting Thursday (February 9), in Hyderabad.
Addressing media persons on the eve of the first ever Test with Bangladesh on home soil, Kohli made it abundantly clear that senior batsman Rahane will get his rightful place into the Playing XI against Bangladesh while Nair, who has played just two games so far, has to wait for his turn. (Probable India XI against Bangladesh)
"I feel one game doesn't overshadow two years of hard work from another player. That is my point of view. You need to understand what 'Jinks' has done for the team for past 2 years. He averages almost 50 in this format (Tests). He is probably the most solid batsman in our team, in the Test format. We look at him from that point of view, certainly," Kohli said when asked whether Rahane will be overlooked after Nair's mammoth innings in the last game India played.
Kohli, however, praised young Nair for making the most of the opportunity he got after his inclusion into the squad due to Rahane's injury. But the skipper stressed that 'Jinx' (Rahane) has his position in the side intact as far as Test squad is concerned.
"Karun was stepping into his shoes and what he did was remarkable. Sealing his spot, as far as the squad is concerned, is what Karun did. But as I said you can't overlook two years of hard work from Ajinkya. He deserves to walk back into the team whenever he got fit. That is my take on it."
This means, an epic 303* run knock in the previous game will not help the Karnataka batsman seal a spot in the Playing XI. He would, perhaps, be the only batsman who will be dropped from the squad despite hitting a triple ton.
India will be locking horns with Bangladesh at Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi stadium in the one-off Test.
Nair's wait to make it to the Playing XI might get longer if the Indian batting line-up against Bangladesh performs as expected.