The current Indian Test team boasts probably the best fast-bowling attack in the world, but the same cannot be said about their batting. Sure, India pack a star-studded batting line-up, and it lives up to its reputation at home, but while touring, despite showing a glimpse of its actual prowess, the Indian batting leaves a lot to be desired.
The five-Test series between India and England was one such example. In batting, India’s biggest positives were their two openers – KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, while the middle order often collapsed barring a couple of instances. That India were able to put up competitive totals was mainly due to the resistance shown by the lower order.
India’s middle-order comprises the Big 3 of their Test batting – Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane at No. 3, 4, and 5 respectively. And while Pujara and Kohli have slowly started to get their groove back, Rahane is yet to do so. In fact, Rahane’s numbers are pretty average, with the batsman going past 50 just twice in 10 Tests. After his heroic century at Melbourne last year, Rahane – once India’s best batsman overseas – has been grappling with poor form.
Having said that, former India opener Virender Sehwag feels that although Rahane hasn’t been in the best of nicks, the team’s vice-captain deserves another chance, especially for a Test series that is played at home.
“I feel when your overseas tour goes bad, you should get a chance in India as well because this comes once in four years but you will play a series in India every year. If the series goes bad in India, then I will understand that the form which was bad overseas is there here as well, then he deserves it now,” Sehwag had said on the Sony Sports Network.
“I have seen many great players who have not done anything for 8 or 9 Tests, not even a fifty and they still were persisted with, and the result was that they performed going ahead and scored 1200-1500 runs in a year in Test cricket.”
India will host New Zealand for two Tests later this year in November-December and Sehwag reckons that if Rahane – who only plays Test cricket for India – is unable to perform there as well, it might well be curtains for him.
“Everyone goes through a bad phase. The question is how you behave with your player in a bad phase, whether you back him or leave him. According to me, Ajinkya Rahane should get a chance when the next series happens in India. If he doesn’t perform there, you can say – thank you very much for your contribution,” the former India opener pointed out.