3 Reasons Why We Think Ajinkya Rahane Has Played His Last Test

Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed for 1 in the second innings in Cape Town; this was after he managed just 9 runs in the first innings. Both the times he was dismissed by almost unplayable deliveries from Kagiso Rabada.

However, that doesn’t mask the fact that Rahane, once a reliable batsman on the Test side, has been struggling for runs. He hasn’t had a major outing at home, and has, at times, looked clueless in overseas conditions.

Rahane came in the South Africa series on the back of huge scrutiny of his form. He finished the series with 136 runs in 6 innings at an average of 22. He scored one fifty in the second Test, however, that went in vain.

We have good reasons to believe that Ajinkya Rahane has played his last Test for India:

1) Horrible stats in the past 2 years

Although batsmen over the world have found it difficult to score runs since 2018, which has been regarded as the toughest era for batters in the 20th century, Ajinkya Rahane’s numbers have been poor.

Since the start of 2020, Rahane averages 24 with the bat in 19 Tests. He has notched up one century – at MCG in 2020 – and 3 fifties. Since the start of 2021, his average of 20.25 is even worse.

And, although Pujara and Kohli, too, have not great numbers either, Rahane has looked the most out of sorts of the trio.

2) Lack of ability to perform on big stages

Ajinkya Rahane’s backing by the management over the past few years has been on his previous performances where he used to perform on big occasions, when the team needed him to step up.

However, since last year, that ability to stand up when needed has diminished too. Whether it was the last two Tests in Australia – at SCG and Gabba – or in the loss at Chennai and Leeds versus England or in Cape Town, Rahane failed to deliver when the team would have expected the former vice-captain to repay their faith.

3) Available options

Rahane’s poor form has coincided with India having a surplus of replacement options. Two front-runners to take up the No. 5 slot are Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer. Vihari didn’t get to play a single Test for a year after his heroic rearguard in Sydney. Shreyas Iyer sat on the bench for all three Tests in South Africa after he’d had one of the most memorable debuts in recent times against New Zealand.

Shubman Gill and Surakumar Yadav are other candidates who can be looked at for middle-order options.

Considering Rahane is 33 and there are plenty of batters waiting in the wings, we believe that Rahane’s time as an India Test player is up.

Also Read: Here’s How Virat Kohli Motivated His Teammates Sitting In The Dugout

Jatin Khandelwal

Hi, I am Jatin Khandelwal. Cricket writing came accidentally for me with an undergrad engineering degree. With opportunities first as a freelancer and then full-time, and experience with time, I have grown in the role. The Cricket Lounge is a place where I can thrive with the best of my abilities.

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