Three Players Who Can Replace Ajinkya Rahane: A decade and a half back, the Indian middle-order boasted of names like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, a list of heroes who would turn any bowling lineup into a pile of dust. However, once they retired, the game changed completely for the Indians.
Over the recent years, the longest format of the sport has seen India’s middle-order nosediving into a pool of chaos where their middle-order has shown minimal resistance and has fallen like pins ahead of a surging canon ball.
To add to India’s woes, two of their most reliable batters, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have fallen from their previously attained grace and now have been reduced to mere symbols of mediocrity.
Pujara has still managed to come up with intermittent bursts of brilliance that have kept him afloat but Rahane’s tryst with inconsistency gets more glaring with every passing day and with the pool of talent that India has at their disposal, a few new names may be up for discussion.
In this story, we will like to bring to you three cricketers who can replace Ajinkya Rahane if he fails to deliver at the bigger stage.
Former Delhi Capitals captain, Shreyas Iyer has been in fine touch in recent times. More importantly, he was always lauded for his techniques. With impeccable wristwork, he is known for navigating smoothly through an ever-shifting maze of trickery from the oppositions that shuffle between pace and spin. One of the most preeminent aspects of Iyer is his ability to dig deep in the crease and master his strokes accordingly. India’s middle-order has been a victim of some terrible strokeplay. Hence, the reliability that Iyer has shown in the two opening Test matches will open up a whole world of possibilities for the Indian middle-order.
Needless to say, but the Indian fans are waiting with bated breath to witness the fine SKY taking charge in the middle-order. He has a wide arsenal of strokes at his disposal while he is a very patient watcher of the ball that allows him room to time his shots perfectly. He is also a decent accelerator and can press the gas whenever needed, considering his belligerent mindset. Atop that he has a keen eye to steer big shots to the ropes and even in precarious situations he doesn’t like to sit back and defend. Though he is someone different from Ajinkya Rahane, yet he can be a key to the middle-order dilemma.
Shubman Gill has shown a fine command with the willow at the top of the innings. However, with Rahul available for selection, Gill will need to either warm the bench or drop down the order. We have seen how comfortably Gill trades the new ball to the ropes. Imagine him doing the same when the ball wears out. He will be able to do it even more convincingly. On top of that, he is known to get those starts but fails to flip them into bigger knocks. With the Indian middle order, oscillating like a pendulum, that initial stability from Gill will do a world of good and would allow players like Iyer, Jadeja and Saha or Pant to keep the scoreboard ticking without much worries of a collapse at the other end.