16 Dec 2020: Australia-India Tests: Kohli backs Rahane to deliver in his absence
His deputy, Ajinkya Rahane, will lead the side in the remaining three Test matches.
Ahead of the series opener, the 32-year-old Kohli has backed Rahane to come good as captain.
Here we look at what Kohli had to say.
Understanding: 'We have had a lot of mutual understanding and respect'
Kohli started with his praise of Rahane by highlighting the mutual understanding and respect the two players share.
"Firstly we have had a lot of mutual understanding and respect over the years, we've had great partnerships batting together which is based on trust and understanding what needs to be done for the team," he said at the pre-match press conference.
Praise: He seems to be very composed: Kohli on Rahane
Kohli feels Rahane has done a tremendous job as captain in the recently concluded two practice games against Australia A.
"Jinks has done a tremendous job (as captain) in the two practice games. He seems to be very composed and he knows the strengths of our team and how we have to go about our things," said Kohli.
Practice games: How did India fare in the two practice games?
In the first match at the SCG, Rahane scored an unbeaten ton as India managed 247/9 declared in the first innings.
The visitors started well with the ball, before Australia A hit back 306/9 declared.
India managed 189/9 declared in the next innings, before restricting Australia to 52/1.
India dominated the next game which was a Day-Night affair.
Indian bowlers claimed 14 wickets.
Backing_: Kohli backs Rahane to do a tremendous job
Kohli credited India's approach in Tests to a collective effort. He also said that it's the whole team that has come forward in making crucial decisions.
With the template already laid out, Kohli feels Rahane will do a tremendous job.
"We're absolutely on the same page and I'm sure he'll do a tremendous job in my absence as well," he added.
Fact: Rahane's career stats and his performance as captain
In 65 Test matches, Rahane has racked up 4,203 runs at an average of 42.88. He has 11 tons and 22 fifties under his belt. Meanwhile, Rahane has led Team India in two Tests so far in his career. Notably, he has won both Tests.