Ajinkya Rahane has been struggling for form in 2021.© AFP
With Ajinkya Rahane struggling for form with the bat, speculation is rife that his place in Team India’s playing XI is in danger for the second and final Test against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Rahane posted scores of 35 and 4 in the drawn opening test in Kanpur to continue his poor run this year. The 33-year-old batter has an unenviable average of 19.6 in 2021. According to Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik, Rahane getting dropped from the team for the Mumbai Test will help ease some of the pressure off him.
“With Shreyas Iyer coming in and doing so well, I think the pressure will obviously be on Rahane and he might be the one to be dropped. This has happened during a tour of South Africa when Rahane was dropped for a game before he again came back. There is no harm if Rahane’s dropped for a game,” Karthik said in a discussion with Cricbuzz.
“Iyer has literally taken India to safe zone in this Test on his own. He’s done really well. And It’s not like Rahane has not been among the runs in 1-2 Tests. It has been going on for a long time now. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing for him to be dropped. It will ease some of the pressure on him,” he added.
“I do think a similar sort of baggage is there on (Cheteshwar) Pujara too. He hasn’t got a hundred in a long time. And since the start of 2020, he too has averaged in the mid-20s. These are two players who have set their standards very high. They would know they haven’t performed according to expectations.”
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