Former India opener Virender Sehwag said that the team management and selectors should back Ajinkya Rahane for another series – the next home series against New Zealand – despite his struggles with the bat not showing any signs of betterment.
Rahane managed 109 runs in the 4 Tests against England; at The Oval, he was demoted to number 6 which can be taken as an indication of the management’s faith in his batting. His numbers over the past few years have been below-par – since the start of 2020, Rahane averages 24.76, with just three 50+ scores in 27 innings.
Virender Sehwag reckons many great players go out of form for a while but return back stronger in their home conditions.
“I feel when your overseas tour goes bad, you should get a chance in India as well because this comes once in four years but you will play a series in India every year. If the series goes bad in India, then I will understand that the form which was bad overseas is there here as well, then he deserves it now,” Virender Sehwag had said on the Sony Sports Network.
“I have seen many great players who have not done anything for 8 or 9 Tests, not even a fifty and they still were persisted with, and the result was that they performed going ahead and scored 1200-1500 runs in a year in Test cricket.”
If he doesn’t perform there, you can say – thank you very much for your contribution: Virender Sehwag
Asserting that though he feels Rahane should be given one more series if he fails to perform there, Virender Sehwag said, then the senior batsman should be dropped.
India will host the Black Caps for a 2-Test series later in the year. The two Tests will be part of the World Test Championship.
“Everyone goes through a bad phase. The question is how you behave with your player in a bad phase, whether you back him or leave him. According to me, Ajinkya Rahane should get a chance when the next series happens in India. If he doesn’t perform there, you can say – thank you very much for your contribution,” the 42-year-old commentator stated.
Rahane will next be seen in action during the UAE leg of IPL 2021. After the T20 World Cup, India will host Kane Williamson’s team before travelling to South Africa. The series against New Zealand will be crucial for Rahane’s chances on the flight to South Africa.