India head coach Rahul Dravid had promised the longest rope for the two veteran batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane following their valiant fifties in the Johannesburg Test, but the pair have done little to repay the faith of the coach as they both returned with poor figures in the Cape Town Test against South Africa. Their successive dismissals on the third morning the of the series decider led to hilarious “Thank you #Puarane” memes as Twitter slammed the two batters.
With Pujara looking to support captain Virat Kohli as India aimed to add to their lead of 70 runs from Day 2, India’s No.3 was dismissed in the very second ball of the day by Marco Jansen after Keegan Petersen picked up a stunner at leg gully. Pujara walked back for 9 off 33.
In the next over, an absolute pearler from Kagiso Rabada left Rahane clueless at the crease as he went for a tame poke against a shortish delivery before captain Dean Elgar completed the dismissal. Rahane departed for 1 off 9.
Here’s how Twitter reacted…
Earlier, Dravid had clarified that replacement middle-order batters in Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer will have to wait a tad longer for their regular chances after Rahane and Pujara returned with half-century scores in the second Test against South Africa last week.
“If you look at some of our guys now senior players and being sort of considered, senior players, they have also had to wait for their time and also have had to score a lot of runs at the start of their careers.”
Dravid however indicated that he has a phase-out plan in place for the senior players and that Iyer and Vihari’s opportunity will eventually come.
“So it happens (wait) as its nature of the sport,” he said adding, “We can take a lot of heart from the manner Vihari batted in this game and that should give him a lot of confidence and that should give us a lot of confidence.”