India's Ajinkya Rahane backs his own captaincy after Virat Kohli's departure

Batsman will stick to his composed approach in Boxing Day Test against Australia

TOPSHOT - India's captain Ajinkya Rahane (L) chats with coach Ravi Shastri (R) during a training session ahead of the second cricket Test match against Australia, in Melbourne on December 24, 2020. --IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO COMMERCIAL USE--
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Ajinkya Rahane is determined to be his own man as he takes charge for India's last three matches against Australia.

Skipper Virat Kohli returned home to attend the birth of his first child after the tourists were thrashed inside three days in the day-night series opener in Adelaide.

Rahane's composure is in stark contrast to Kohli's animated presence but the middle-order batsman drew inspiration from his experience of leading India to a Test victory against Australia in a 2017 Test.

"Backing your instincts as a captain, remaining calm under pressure, backing your own strength, your own methods...I really learnt a lot during that test match," Rahane said on the eve of the Boxing Day match.

"Obviously it's a great opportunity, responsibility as well. I don't want to put myself under pressure."

In Kohli's absence, Rahane faces an unenviable task against a buoyant Australia side seeking to avenge their first ever Test series loss to India two years ago.

Rahane, who also led India to victory in Afghanistan's debut test in 2018, said his composure should not be mistaken for lack of aggression.

"Personally, I stay calm and cool but my batting is generally aggressive. I back my instinct, it's all about playing as a team."

Asked if Kohli had any parting message for the team, Rahane said, "We had a team dinner in Adelaide, and he spoke to all of us - about being positive, just playing to our strengths and playing as a unit."

Compared to Kohli's hands-on captaincy, Rahane's leadership is more democratic and the Mumbai player confirmed he would not station himself at mid-off and spoon-feed his bowlers.

"I generally stand a gully, even as a captain, so you will see me standing at gully," he said.