India drop triple-centurian Nair for Bangladesh Test

Captain Virat Kohli confirms the 25-year-old will be replaced by Ajinkya Rahane


Afp February 08, 2017
PHOTO: AFP

HYDERABAD: India dropped rookie batsman Karun Nair for their debut Test against Bangladesh, starting from Thursday in Hyderabad.

The decision comes as a major surprise as the 25-year-old scored 303 not out in the final Test against England in Chennai.

However, captain Virat Kohli insisted on Wednesday that his record-breaking side weren't taking Bangladesh lightly.

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After going unbeaten in the last 18 Tests, Kohli's number one ranked team is widely expected to swat aside a Bangladeshi outfit that has never beaten a top-notch opposition on their travels.

But Kohli, who has himself scored three double centuries in the five-day format since July, said there was no danger of the world's top-ranked Test team becoming complacent.

"No team is invincible, no team is unbeatable," said Kohli. "We have been able to win games because of persistence by the bowlers, application by the batsmen, coming back from tough situations.

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"We never felt invincible, we feel like we can perform against any team in the world but that doesn't make us feel that we are not beatable."

Kohli is well aware of the dangers of India getting carried away after the home favourites were knocked out of last year's World T20 at the semi-final stage by the unfancied West Indies.

During the same tournament, India only just scraped home in their match against Bangladesh on the last ball of the game, whereas the Men in Blue also lost a one-day series in 2015 on a tour of Bangladesh, while a one-off Test was drawn after being disrupted by rain.

"We are wary of their ability and the talent that they bring to the table," Kohli told reporters. "They have the skill, it's just that they don't play that many Test matches to gain confidence as a squad.”

Kohli did not reveal his line-up for Hyderabad, but made clear that fit-again Ajinkya Rahane would return in place of Nair who has a Test average of 160 after scoring an unbeaten 303 against England in December.

"One game doesn't overshadow two years of hard work from another player. You need to understand what 'Jinks' [Rahane] has done for the team over the past two years," he added. "He averages almost fifty in this format and he is probably the most solid batsman in the Test team. He deserved to walk back into the team whenever he got fit.

"Karun was stepping into his shoes and what he did was remarkable, but sealing his spot as far as the squad was concerned is what Karun did."

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