Former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta speaks about Ajinkya Rahane’s drop in numbers in the last couple of years compared to the ones when he was at his best.
At the start of his international career, Rahane used to have annual averages in the 40s and 50s, when he earned the moniker of ‘India’s overseas specialist’ by scoring runs all over the world. However, now his average took a significant nosedive – 38.86 last year, and 21.92 this year so far. While he still records an occasional big inning, he has been fairly inconsistent.
Deep Dasgupta reckons it’s because of his lower batting position – number 5 in India’s Test side compared to number 3 in the Mumbai team. He also says that while batting higher up the order Rahane used to bat in more challenging batting conditions than he does while batting lower down at 5. Hence he has had struggles recently.
“I don’t think Rahane is the same player that he was. In 2015-16, Rahane was unbelievable. He was a player that I saw playing for Mumbai.
“The Wankhede pitch on the first morning was moist, the pitch had grass and it was a nightmare batting there those days. But Rahane scored more than 4000-4500 runs before playing for India, batting predominantly at No.3 position,” Deep Dasgupta said in his YouTube video.
He is very tentative in his first 20 balls: Deep Dasgupta
Rahane hit one fifty in the home series against England, which was punctuated by few low scores. Deep Dasgupta further believes that the right-hander is very vulnerable at the start of his innings, but grows in confidence as he stays in the middle longer.
“When you bat in India, your skill set changes. You play swing and pace outside but here you need to play reverse swing. If you go and check Rahane’s footwork in 2015-16, you will realise that his footwork is not that definite. He is very tentative in his first 20 balls and whenever he plays a big innings, he is a lot more confident,” the cricketer-turned-commentator added.