Mumbai, 2/12: Ajinkya Rahane’s Test career, which lasted for eight and a half years, now stands at a crossroads. After a long period of success as a middle-order batsman, he has not been able to score significant runs in 21 innings of 12 Test matches played against Australia, England and New Zealand this calendar year. It is clearly a bad patch of the right-handed batsman who grew up in the tough environment of Mumbai cricket, which is worrying the national selectors. In such a situation, the selectors can consider other options in the second and final Test match against India and New Zealand starting in Mumbai from Friday (December 3).
Ajinkya Rahane has led India in six Test matches, winning four and drawing two. He has also played the role of Virat Kohli’s deputy very well. It will be interesting to see how captain Virat Kohli and coach Rahul Dravid will deal with this situation of Rahane. However, Dravid expects Rahane to do well. He said after the first Test against New Zealand (IND vs NZ) in Kanpur that he was not worried about Rahane’s form. The 34-year-old Rahane has shown signs of losing control of himself as a batsman. He has not gone beyond the single digit score eight times this year. His best scores were 37 in Brisbane, 67 against England at Chepauk, 49 against New Zealand at the World Test Championship in Southampton, 61 against England at Lord’s and 35 against New Zealand in the recently concluded first Test at Green Park, Kanpur. Huh. These scores give him an impressive average of over 49, but his overall average for the year so far is 19.57 and that may be hindering his chances of national selectors having faith in him.
Will Rahane get a chance to play the first Test at home?
Ajinkya Rahane has played 79 Test matches for India since making his Test debut in 2013, but he has not yet got a chance to play at our home ground Mumbai. He had this chance against England in 2016, but he was ruled out of that series due to a finger fracture. Now after five years, he once again has a chance, but his poor performance with the bat for a long time can become a hindrance in this.
Rahane fails to perform after century in Melbourne
Ajinkya Rahane won the hearts of many by playing a brilliant innings of 112 runs in the first innings of the Melbourne Test immediately after being dismissed for 36. As captain, Rahane won praise from experts but poor form with the bat followed him after his stellar work in Melbourne. Rahane has played 79 Tests. He has scored 4795 runs with 12 centuries and 24 half-centuries. During this his average has been less than 40. He has shown determination to bat at No. He has been a part of India’s middle order since 2013. With Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma being part of the three-Test series in South Africa and the home Test series against Sri Lanka, the selectors are likely to seriously look at middle-order options. He already has an option ready in the form of Shreyas Iyer after a stellar start in Kanpur.
IND vs NZ: Virat Kohli’s luck will change in Mumbai, there has been a break on century since 741 days
‘Ajinkya Rahane’s mindset has turned defensive’
Milind Rege, who has been a part of Mumbai cricket for half a century as a player, captain, administrator and selector, has closely observed various aspects of Rahane’s batting. He said, “I think he has gone into a completely defensive mindset now, because when one is not able to score runs, he falls into the groove of not playing freely. In cricket, if you bat for an hour, you have to score runs. You have to score runs on the board. Every time he goes to bat, he is reading the length wrong. Most of the time he is bowled, caught in the leg before or on the wicket or on the slips. what does this mean ? You are not able to read the length and it happens because you are in a defensive mindset. There should be a mindset to attack first. It is a vicious cycle; He is in a defensive mindset as he is not scoring runs. He averages less than 20 in 21 Test matches this year. It is time to give him a break so that he can play a lot of domestic cricket. His legs are no longer moving.”
‘New head coach can bring back Rahane’s confidence’
Madhya Pradesh coach Chandrakant Pandit has also closely watched Rahane’s career for many years. He said, like every batsman, Rahane should also be eager to score runs. His reputation is at stake. They are struggling, which leads to anxiety. I believe this is the reason why Rahane is not able to score runs. We have seen Rahane grow into a cricketer who plays well in international cricket, but when the career goes on for a long time, the boundaries get exposed. When a player is going through a bad phase, he has nothing more to offer. They are finding it difficult to recover from the present circumstances.