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Friday, December 03, 2021

‘Rahane fortunate he is still part of the Test side’: Gautam Gambhir

Captaining the first Test in Kanpur will be Ajinkya Rahane, who has had his struggles with the bat of late.

By: Sports Desk |
November 23, 2021 11:56:43 am
Ajinkya Rahane will be looking to find his form after a below average series against England (File)

India wrapped up the T20I series 3-0 against New Zealand and the two sides will now take on each other in a two-match Test series starting in Kanpur on Thursday.

Newly appointed T20 captain and regular opener Rohit Sharma, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, and pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have all been rested as part of BCCI’s workload management policy.

Captaining the first Test in Kanpur will be Ajinkya Rahane, who has had his struggles with the bat of late. The right-handed batsman scored 268 runs in four Tests against Australia last year. In the home series against England, Rahane averaged 18.66 for his 112 runs across 6 innings. He scored 49 and 15 in the World Test Championship final but only managed 109 runs at 15.57 in the four Test matches that followed.

Former cricketer and now politician Gautam Gambhir feels that he ‘fortunate’ enough to be playing, let alone leading the team. Speaking on Star Sports’ show ‘Game Plan’, Gambhir picked Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul to open in the first Test while slotting in Shubman Gill at No. 4.

“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. That’s what I would want to see and 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,” Gambhir said.

Former cricketer Aakash Chopra similarly questioned the decision to name Rahane the captain, saying that his place in the squad was itself a big question.

“You have named Ajinkya Rahane as captain for the first Test. But, let’s be honest, there were questions regarding Rahane’s selection for the final Test (against England) if the match had happened,” Chopra said in a video on his YouTube channel.

Speaking about Rahane’s poor run of form in the last two seasons, Chopra said, “As much as I like Rahane, his average has gone down massively in the past two years or so. There has been an odd good knock in between, but the average has fallen 20 points in the same period.”

The opening Test of the series will be played in Kanpur from November 25 to 29 while Mumbai will host the 2nd game from December 3 to 7.

India’s Test squad for NZ series: Ajinkya Rahane (c), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vc), Shubman Gill, S Iyer, Wriddiman Saha (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, J Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohd Siraj and Prasidh Krishna.

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