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

India is scheduled to play New Zealand in the upcoming T20I series, followed by a couple of Tests.

As BCCI plans to rest a few frontline players keeping their workload in mind, Ajinkya Rahane has been named as the captain for the first Test against the Black Caps.

However, this might have come as a big shock for many pundits who had predicted that the England Test series could be Rahane’s last outing in the white colours.

Ajinkya Rahane scored 109 in four Tests against England

Rahane scored 109 runs from seven innings at an average of 15.57, which was probably one of his disastrous overseas tours.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane (Credit: Twitter)

One might not easily forget how Rahane led India in Australia earlier this year with all the circumstances and odds against him.

If reports are to be believed, then it was India’s newly appointed head coach Rahul Dravid who backed Rahane to continue in India’s Test unit.

According to a report in News18, Dravid stood behind Rahane and perhaps may have played a role in elevating his work profile, even if it meant just for a single Test game.

Rahul Dravid backs Cheteshwar Pujara in the Indian Test side

Not only Rahane, but Dravid has also posed faith in India’s Test specialist batter Cheteshwar Pujara, who was also under the hammer for not scoring consistently.

Nick Webb
Nick Webb with Cheteshwar Pujara. Photo Credit: BCCI,

According to the report, “Dravid’s input can be seen in Cheteshwar Pujara’s belated and yet well-deserved elevation as the new vice-captain of the Test team even if it is for just one Test. By appointing Pujara the new vice-captain, this could also be Dravid’s way of saying that Indian cricket value Test cricket and top performers and experienced campaigners more.”

Pujara found his rhythm in the last two Tests against England, where he made the score of 91 & 61 in the second innings of the Headingley and Oval Tests, respectively.

India will play the first Test against New Zealand between November 25-29 at the Greenpark Stadium in Kanpur, followed by the second Test in Mumbai starting on December 4.

Also Read: New Zealand Tour Of India 2021: Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara Amongst India’s Test Specialists To Undergo Preparatory Camp In Mumbai