An Open Letter To Pujara And Rahane
Cricket

An Open Letter To Pujara And Rahane

Indian batters have struggled recently in the longest format of the game with three of their biggest middle-order stalwarts succumbing to swing and pace early in the innings. However, Pujara and Rahane aren’t just a pair that defines Test batting but they personify resilience.

Sadly, for the Indian fans, they have turned against one of the best pairs of Test batters given their sudden unchecked decline. This is my essay of rebellion against those who believe that the downfall of the Indian middle-order is solely due to the fiasco of one of the most reliable partnerships in Test cricket.

Dear Rahane and Pujara,

How about I name your partnership? Let me just call you two, the duo of Yin and Yang. There is a reason why I called you this and the reason is Yin and Yang has always been an important aspect of survival for a human being and has been of symbolic importance to the ones who are ardent aficionados of balance.

As India struggled to come to grips with the nasty swing of Anderson and lost three early wickets in the form of Rohit, Kohli and Rahul, you two gave us hope. A hope that wasn’t really blazing but one that one can cling on to.

You guys took 50 overs to forge a 100-run stand and the fans believed that it could have been better. However, what they did forget was that more important than runs at that point in time, it was the patience that kept India battling on their toes.

If we turn the clock back by a decade, Pujara made his footfall in the international arcade and his first assignment was Australia. He came out with flying colours and continued his brilliance in the upcoming matches. However, he had to wait until he had some success in the longer format of the game away from home.

Three long years after his debut, Pujara savoured success on the road as he pulled off a couple of blistering knocks against South Africa. Next up was England and though the numbers weren’t astronomical, they were significant enough for the world to take note of.

Once again Pujara managed to pull off a couple of stellar knocks against Australia Down Under and pumped in with a handful of brilliant showdowns.

Those resilient sparks of brilliance never really stopped from flying as Pujara stitched together one great knock after the other. Finally came 2019 and that remarkable tour of Australia. Three centuries that included a boisterous 193, helping India to chronicle a historic series win Down Under.

Sadly, things didn’t pan out as they should have when the new year started and that is when you started falling out of favour. A few mediocre shows and a glaring weakness on the corridor of uncertainty on the off-stump left you reeling in agony against the best bowlers of the world.

Now coming to Rahane’s Test career he was roaring away from home against South Africa in his very second and third Test match. He was equally brilliant against New Zealand as that cemented him in the Indian Test side as an important middle-order batsman.

He brought out the very best in him against England with a sequence of decent scores alongside his century. Despite a decent against Australia, things went downhill in the last two Test matches and he had to be content with limited success.

His last big knock arrived against Australia at Melbourne and it was extremely crucial and of emphatic symbolic importance that signalled India’s magical turnaround from a paltry 36 all out.

I know that your duo has really failed to live up to the heightened sense of billing that fans have strapped on you but there is something that they have missed out on. The last few outings for India has been against the very best of the sport. Australia, England and New Zealand and scoring against them at an effusive flow is not really a mean feat.

You guys have been troubled by the overt swing of the ball and it is understandable that situations do not always favour everyone. Even Tendulkar got ducks and so did all other great cricketers of the generation.

You are humans after all and things do not always remain the same for you. The major principle that defines a human is his fall. You guys have been a raging emblem of turnarounds and resilience.

Also, to make things worse, you two are trying to fill a void that was left by two of the world’s best, namely Dravid and Tendulkar. It is obvious that the expectations will be high.

People are screaming about the fact that you two need to be replaced. Sadly, there is no one yet to take those two crucial positions. Suryakumar Yadav maybe a suggestion but he hasn’t really been tested in the longest format of the game. Also, the position that you two bat in needs herculean patience and the will to carry on.

That virtue is rare. You guys have proven it previously and I believe in you two. Shortcomings do not definite icons but their ability to turn it around does. It is still a long, hard and cold way that lies ahead of you. I hope that you will be the beacon of hope for the Indian middle-order again.

Yours sincerely,

A crazy cricket fan.

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