India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has found himself at the receiving end of criticism because of his inconsistent form and poor performances. He has consistently struggled to score runs in the ongoing 5-match Test series against England. In fact, he was able to score only 14 runs across two innings in the recently-concluded 4th Test at the Oval in London.
Several cricketers and pundits have raised questions over Rahane’s place in the playing XI amidst his rough patch. Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has also voiced his opinion in the same direction.
Sanjay Manjrekar feels that Rahane will be a very lucky batsman if he manages a place in the playing XI. With the likes of Hanuma Vihari and Suryakumar Yadav sitting on the bench, Manjrekar feels Rahane should be dropped from the squad to make space for them.
During a discussion on Sony Sports, Sanjay Manjrekar talked about Rahane’s poor form and explained why dropping him will be the right decision for the Indian side. Explaining this, Manjrekar cited his own example and recalled how the likes of Rahul Dravid and others got a chance to play once he was dropped from the squad during his playing days. He said:
“You have an obligation to the guys waiting in the wings. That’s how you look at Indian cricket. If I wasn’t dropped, people like (Rahul) Dravid, and all those guys would not have come in,”
“Hanuma Vihari first and maybe Suryakumar Yadav. Very often you are surprised by players who are out in the reserves because you haven’t seen them and Ajinkya Rahane is not exuding confidence,”
Further, Manjrekar feels that the vice-captain will be very lucky if he gets another chance in playing XI in the last Test as he has already been given a long rope in the team. He said:
“If he [Rahane] gets another game, he is a very lucky batter. I wish a lot of the other batters in the past were living in this era. He has got a very long rope. If he gets another game, that’s great for him,”
“It’s not like when you give him more opportunities, he is starting to look better. The most worrying thing is that he gets an innings which you think will trigger him back into form but that never happens. So, he will be very lucky if he gets one,”