Despite scoring a century in Melbourne, and leading the side to a historic comeback against Australia, Ajinkya Rahane has ‘not lived up to the expectations’, feels former India all-rounder Vijay Bharadwaj.
He reckons that the Test vice-captain will be under heavy pressure on the tour to England as he has been ‘struggling with consistency’ of late. Bharadwaj’s views come in reflection of Ajinkya Rahane’s average of 18.67 in the last home Test series – against England where he hit one fifty and registered three single-digit scores. On the Australia tour, apart from the century at the MCG, his next highest score was 42.
India is scheduled to leave for the UK on June 2. Their tour comprises of the WTC final versus New Zealand from June 18th in Southampton, followed by a 5-Test series against Joe Root’s side in August-September. The vice-captain has plenty of experience of playing in English conditions – in 10 Tests he has notched up one century and 4 half-centuries.
“Rahane will be under a lot of pressure. Rahane has, unfortunately, not lived up to the expectations. He has been struggling with consistency,” Vijay Bharadwaj told SportsKeeda.
Ajinkya Rahane should also be scoring at a faster rate: Vijay Bharadwaj
Vijay Bharadwaj, who represented India in 3 Tests and 10 ODIs, reckons another aspect that Ajinkya Rahane needs to consider improving is his scoring rate. The right-hander has a career strike rate of 49.79, which seems on average with almost every other batter.
However, Bharadwaj points out that the Indian team has Cheteshwar Pujara to do the holding role, while other players in Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Virat Kohli will take on the bowling. Hence, he asserts that Ajinkya Rahane should too look to play more positively.
“Rahane should also be scoring at a faster rate as you already have Cheteshwar Pujara grinding the opposition attack and playing time. You don’t need another batsman to play slowly. When you look at the rules, a draw in the WTC final means sharing the trophy.
“To win the Test Championship title, you need batsmen to push the scoring rate. I know Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant will be scoring at a brisk pace and Rahane should also play positively,“