Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt was impressed with Indian Test captain Virat Kohli after he supported the out-of-form veteran batsman Ajinkya Rahane after their win against New Zealand in the second Test in Mumbai on Monday.
However, Rahane’s recent form has become a matter of concern too. In the last 16 Tests, he averages only 24.39. However, despite all these, captain Kohli had earlier stated that his form won’t impact the decision while choosing the team and backed him as well.
“I can’t judge Ajinkya’s form,” Virat Kohli said. “Nobody can judge anybody’s form, for that matter. Because only an individual knows what part of his game he has to work on. But, as I have said in the past, it is important to back those players who have made impact performances in difficult situations and important Test matches in the past. We don’t entertain this kind of atmosphere in the team that a player starts worrying about ‘what next’ the moment he is under a little bit of pressure.”
He continued: “Yes, we can’t expect this kind of balance from those on the outside where those who are singing praises will be asking for a player’s head in two months. We don’t react that way ever nor will we do it in the future because we know how much effort and hard work goes in for any person to get into a positive mental space, and we will support it. Be it Ajinkya or whoever. We will never take decisions based on the outside atmosphere.”
While praising Kohli’s words, Salman Butt, while speaking on his YouTube channel, shared the reason behind his successful tenure as the captain of the Indian Test team as well.
“One of the most valuable reason behind Team India’s success under the captaincy of Virat Kohli is backing his players, especially when they most need them. Not just Kohli, pick any good captain in world cricket, they will always back their proven player, who is now going through a lean phase. And when such players are backed during their time of struggle, with the amount of confidence the player gains they come out stronger and produce unthinkable results,” Salman Butt said.
Meanwhile, Butt also shared Rahane’s ability as an overseas batsman who had successfully led the team to a Test series victory in Australia earlier this year as well in the absence of the regular captain Virat Kohli. However, the South Africa tour will start with the three-match Test series from December 26 in Centurion.
“In cases when the player has top-class credentials, has helped script unbelievable victories, or has performed well under pressure, you have to back them. And this is the reason why he is such a successful captain. He trusts his players, backs him through thick and thin. And that is why players respond. And he is the vice-captain of the Indian team, who led the Indian side to victory in Australia in the absence of Kohli and has performed as batsman as well,” Salman Butt concluded.