Senior Indian batters Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara are most likely to be demoted in the BCCI central contracts.
Rahane and Pujara’s position in India’s Test team have come under intense scrutiny after their inconsistent performances with the bat for an extended period of time.
The senior batters have received a lot of support from the Indian management but no improvements have been seen in their batting form.
Ajinkya Rahane in 2021, scored just 479 runs in 23 innings at an extremely poor average of 20.82 including just 2 50+ scores. Rahane, who was recently removed from the Test vice-captaincy, scored just 136 runs in the three-match Test series against South Africa at an average of 22.66.
Meanwhile, India’s No.3 in Tests Cheteshwar Pujara scored 124 runs in the three-match Test series against South Africa at an average of 20.66. Overall in 2021, he scored 702 runs in 26 innings at an average of 28.08 including 6 50+ scores.
Under Normal Circumstances, Cheteshwar Pujara And Ajinkya Rahane Ideally Won’t Feature In Group A – BCCI Source
The BCCI has four categories – A+, A, B and C – which carry annual retainership of Rs 7 crore, Rs 5 crore, Rs 3 crore and Rs 1 crore respectively. The retainerships are decided by the three office-bearers, five selectors and the national head coach.
Rahane and Pujara are currently in group A, and the BCCI source has said that the duo won’t feature in group A after their performance in 2021. However, the source added that Rahane and Pujara could retain grade A contracts if head coach Rahul Dravid decides to honour the duo.
“The central contract is a performance indicator of where you stand as per your performance during the last season. If the BCCI and head coach (Rahul) Dravid decide to honour the duo and keep them in group A, then it’s a different issue but under normal circumstances, they ideally won’t feature in group A,” a senior BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma and Hardik Pandya are also likely to be demoted and Shardul Thakur could be promoted to group A.
Speedster Mohammed Siraj, and batters Shubman Gill and Hanuma Vihari are expected to get an upgrade. All-rounder Venkatesh Iyer and pacer Harshal Patel could also get the contracts this time.
Last Season’s (2021) Contract List
Grade A+: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
Grade A: Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Mohd. Shami, Ishant Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya
Grade B: Wriddhiman Saha, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Mayank Agarwal
Grade C: Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Axar Patel, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Md. Siraj.
Get All Cricket match prediction and fantasy Tips – CLICK HERE