Ajinkya Rahane’s torrid time with the bat continued on Day 4 of the Oval Test against England, when India’s vice-captain got out for an 8-ball duck. Rahane’s only sizeable contribution in the series has been an innings of 61 in the second Test, which India won. But barring that one knock, if his recent overall numbers are to be looked at, the batsman has not been having the best of times.
Former India cricketers, and two of the finest analysts, Sunil Gavaskar and Sanjay Manjrekar, weighed in on Rahane’s lack of form. Gavaskar feels given the lean patch Rahane was going through, sending Ravindra Jadeja ahead of him at No. 5 in both innings of the Oval Test was something India could have avoided. Jadeja walked ahead of Rahane but the experiment failed, with the all-rounder scoring 10 and 17. And Gavaskar reckons this promises to dent Rahane’s confidence drastically.
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“That was a bad shot for a man out of form… to be playing across the line towards square leg. There is no way the ball was going to meet the ball. His confidence is shot. He was not confident before because he hadn’t scored runs apart from that 60 at Lord’s. At Leeds, he hadn’t got runs,” Gavaskar said on The Sony Sports Network.
“In the first innings, I had generally thought that Ravindra Jadeja was promoted over him because perhaps Rahane was on a toilet break. But now in the second innings as well, when Jadeja went ahead of him – and it hasn’t worked – what it’s done to the psychology of a player – is that it says ‘look, we are not showing any confidence in you’. The confidence has to be shown. He is not scoring runs but he should be told that at No. 5, you are our batsman…’ not at 6. And that is what happened. No surprises that he got out for 0.”
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As for Manjrekar, the former India batsman has identified a ‘problem’ with Rahane. On Day 4 on Sunday, when the conditions were ideal for batting, Rahane survived a close LBW call, but couldn’t make the most of the reprieve as only a few balls later, Chris Woakes had him out. Manjrekar reckons that even though Rahane scored a half-century at Lord’s, his batting hasn’t been the most convincing.
“See, this is a guy who got a hundred at Melbourne. He was captain and India won the Test match. After that, he was out of form. And we still say he is out of form when he got a 60 and India won the Test match. He is one of the senior players in the team. So, a guy who gets these kinds of innings, a lease of life and still bats like this, there is something wrong” said Manjrekar.
“There is a problem there. Something that I have felt for a long time is that he has lost the knack of judging the length of the ball. Getting out twice almost in a few balls on a pitch that is good for batting, tells you a lot about his current state.”