Saba Karim
Saba Karim (Image Credit: Twitter)

Former Indian player Saba Karim said that the Indian team needs fresh faces in their middle-order and the selectors should start hunting for them from the domestic circuit.

Indian critics have been very vociferous for over a year regarding the performances of senior players like Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli.

In the last five years, Rahane’s batting average has been below 40 except for 2019 while Pujara has averaged 28.04 in the last couple of years.

We have to prepare for the new Test cycle: Saba Karim

Karim said that the India think tank needs to look at whether they have to take the harsh steps to drop the senior duo of Pujara and Rahane.

“I believe we are very late in reacting to the fact that our middle-order, which is considered a backbone in the batting lineup, has been struggling for years now. It is important to address this as soon as possible.

“You have so much experience, you can easily score 40-50 runs after every 3-4 innings but does that mean we are moving in the right direction?” Karim said on the Khelneeti podcast.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane (Image Credit: Twitter)

“We have to prepare for the new Test cycle. We have to qualify for the finals. Do you need to take those harsh steps if you want to reach there? This is what Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli and the selectors (call).

“(They need to decide) whether the batting order with which we are playing is giving us the full value or not, can we bring some youngsters in their place who has good experience in domestic cricket, will he add more value or not,” said Karim.

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara will score runs sometimes: Saba Karim

Pujara and Rahane forged a crucial partnership of 111 runs for the fourth wicket as they helped India to post a competitive target of 240 for South Africa in the Johannesburg Test.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. Photo-Getty
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. Photo-Getty

Karim credited Rahane and Pujara’s experience for scoring runs in their tough time but also talked about their consistency with the bat.

Whether it is Rahane or Pujara, they will score runs sometimes because they obviously have experience. But we need to think if they are doing enough and whether any other player can deliver better than them,” Karim said.

India will play against South Africa in the third Test at the Newlands in Cape Town, the match begins on January 11.

Also Read: IND vs SA: It Should Not Happen That Virat Kohli Comes In And Ajinkya Rahane Is Made To Sit Out – Harbhajan Singh