Don’t copy Kohli’s model, Harbhajan advises Rahane for Australia sequence

New Delhi, November 20

Ajinkya Rahane has his own personality and it would be a mistake for him to try and copy Virat Kohli’s leadership style in the final three tests against Australia, former test spinner Harbhajan Singh has said.

Regular skipper Kohli, known for his animated leadership, will return home after the opening Day-Night test at Adelaide from December 17 to attend the birth of his first child.

The soft-spoken Rahane was set to captain India for the rest of the four-test series and the Mumbaikar should try to lead the way that comes naturally to him, said Harbhajan.

“He’s very calm and composed, not so expressive. He’s very different to Virat Kohli,” Harbhajan, who played 103 tests and 236 one-dayers between 1998-2015, told Sport Tak digital channel.

“I would like to remind Rahane that he doesn’t need to change his game or personality. Looking at a personality like Virat, Rahane might think that he has to adopt some of it to beat Australia. But I don’t think that’s necessary. All Rahane needs to do is be himself and make sure he gets the best out of his team,” he said.

Under Kohli, India beat Australia 2-1 in 2018/19, becoming the first Asian side to triumph in a test series Down Under.

Harbhajan had no doubts India would miss Kohli, also their batting mainstay.

“Virat has an unbelievable record in Australia, something every batsman aspires. So definitely India is going to miss Kohli in the batting unit.

“Then his experience as captain. His aggression, leading from the front, that is Virat Kohli. He always puts his best foot forward. His body language, his intent … India is going to miss him,” Harbhajan said.

The tour begins in Sydney on November 27 with the first of the three one-day internationals, which will be followed by an equal number of Twenty20 matches. Reuters

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