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India vs Australia: 'Ajinkya Rahane Wants to Play Captain’s Knock in Virat’s absence' - Ricky Ponting

Soon Rahane reached his half-century. He was brilliant with his foot and executes some brilliant cut and pulls. (Source: AP)

Soon Rahane reached his half-century. He was brilliant with his foot and executes some brilliant cut and pulls. (Source: AP)

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting lauded Ajinkya Rahane for 'playing like a captain' with a century against Australia in the Boxing Day Test, but expected Virat Kohli to be the Indian captain 'for as long as he wants to'.

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting lauded Ajinkya Rahane for ‘playing like a captain’ with a century against Australia in the Boxing Day Test, but expected Virat Kohli to be the Indian captain ‘for as long as he wants to’.

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Rahane, the stand-in India captain as Kohli is back home for the birth of his first child, made an unbeaten century to give India a healthy lead.

“I think he’s done a great job to pick up the pieces from Adelaide with this team, lead really well in the field yesterday and you can see he’s playing like a captain now as well. He wants to play that captain’s knock; he wants to get a hundred in Virat’s absence and do the best thing he can to try and drag his country and his team back into this series,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.

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“Virat will be captain of India as long as he wants to, but if he thinks standing down is going to make him an even better player, then that’s a scary thing for world cricket.

“I’m not doubting Kohli’s captaincy skills or credentials at all, I’m just saying it’s going to take something special to pick up the pieces and Rahane’s been able to do that so far. I don’t think there’ll be pressure from anywhere else for Kohli to do that but let’s wait and see.”

Ponting said Rahane’s knock – a 200-ball 104 so far – was devoid of thrills but very effective.

“He’s almost played a (Cheteshwar) Pujara-like innings,” Ponting said.

“No thrills, he’s hit very few boundaries but he’s just continually backing his defence and trying to wear the Australian bowlers down.

“I think the Australians haven’t made him cover drive enough. I think they’ve been a little bit short and they’ve plugged that cover region.

“That nick that we saw that went between Paine and Smith, I think that could have been covered with another slip in place and leave the cover area open.”

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