While Rahane said on Wednesday that he will take a backseat, Kohli underlined that the two of them share a relationship based on mutual respect and trust. In Kohli’s view, Rahane has always had the freedom to give his inputs on the field and provide a different perspective.
“Things are very different from the outside compared to what happens inside the dressing room. Jinks said what he did because the camaraderie between us is based on trust. We are working towards the same goal. Rahane fulfilled his responsibility with flying colours in Australia. We have mutual respect. We chat off the field as well and stay in touch. On the field, he has always had the capability and capacity to come and give me inputs at different stages of the game. I discuss a lot of things with him to get more clarity and a different perspective. That is a massive reason for India’s success in Test cricket,” Kohli said on the eve of the first Test between India and England.
While Kohli got to experience the personal high of becoming a father for the first time, his absence in Australia meant that he had to miss out on a professional milestone. Even though he was away from the team, he explained that he was as clued-in to India’s performances as otherwise.
“Firstly, I don’t think the two can be compared. Becoming a father has been and will remain the greatest moment in my life. Secondly, the connection to the team doesn’t go away in any situation, especially when you have given everything to the team over the last few years and been motivated to take Test cricket and Indian cricket to the top. I was watching all the games,” he said.
Kohli recalled the pulsating Brisbane Test and watching the partnership between Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar on his phone in the hospital just before he and wife Anushka Sharma were called in for the delivery. “I was watching it on my phone just before the doctor called us inside. That’s how connected I am to the team,” the 32-year-old recalled.
We talked about farmers’ protests in the team meeting, says Kohli:
Virat Kohli and a bunch of other Indian players came out with identical tweets on Wednesday night in relation to the ongoing farmers’ protests, calling for an amicable solution to be found between the parties involved. Asked whether the issue was discussed within the team, Kohli informed that the players touched the topic briefly during their team meeting.
“The players do discuss and talk about any situation that is present in the country. Everyone has expressed what they had to about the issue and that’s about it. We briefly spoke about it in the team meeting and then carried on discussing our game-plans,” Kohli responded.