India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has struggled with his batting over the past couple of years. Despite being scrutinised by the experts for his lack of runs, the right-hand batter was constantly backed by his captain Virat Kohli and former coach Ravi Shastri.
Amid all ups and downs, Rahane is gearing up to lead India once again in the absence of Kohli. The former will step in to the captain’s boots in the first Test of the 2-match series against New Zealand, which is scheduled to be played in Kanpur from November 25.
Ahead of the series opener, former opener Gautam Gambhir has said that Rahane has got another opportunity to shut his critics. Speaking on Star Sport network, the cricketer-turned-politician opined that Kohli’s deputy in Tests has been very ‘fortunate’ that he’s still a part of the side.
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“I am going to open with Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul because he opened in England and then probably Shubman Gill will bat at No. 4,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.
“Plus, Rahane is pretty fortunate that he’s still part of this side because he’s leading… But again, he’s got another opportunity now, hopefully, he can make that count,” he added.
Known for his excellence on the foreign soil, Rahane has been inconsistent in terms of scoring in the recent past. Since 2019, he has played 40 Tests and scored 7 half-centuries and 3 tons. Earlier this year, he led India to a historic series win Down Under and on the batting front, he failed to impress.
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He did score a hundred in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, but then hit the rough patch again. His struggle continued against England at home as he scored just 112 runs in 4 Tests. During the UK tour, he played a gritty knock of 61 in the second innings of the Lord’s Test, contributing to India’s terrific win. However, he toiled hard to even cross the 20-run mark in the following games.
With India taking on New Zealand, Rahane will join newly-appointed head coach Rahul Dravid in the dressing room and the fans will hope for a better version of the Mumbai batsman who has been match-winner in the past.
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