Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar (Image Credit: Twitter)

Legendary Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar has come out in defense of the duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, stating that why only the aforementioned names are getting singled out when most of the batters haven’t scored as many runs away from home in the recent past.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have been two of the pillars of the Indian batting unit alongside skipper Virat Kohli, but their extended lean patch has now become a cause of concern for the Indian team.

Both Pujara and Rahane are averaging in the 20s since the start of this year and while the duo played vital roles during the triumph in Australia last winter, their form has tapered off significantly since then.

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, Indian
Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. Image Credits: Twitter

The duo is having a tough time in English conditions, especially against James Anderson.

While Pujara has managed scores of 4,12* and 9 in three innings thus far, Rahane score tally read: 5 and 1.

However, despite the damning stats, Gavaskar still believes that the duo is being unfairly targeted just because they are ‘low profile cricketers while alluding to the fact that Ajinkya Rahane was India’s leading run-getter in the first cycle of the World Test Championship.

“He was the highest run-scorer for India at the WTC final with 49. So nobody else has scored runs in this period, to be honest, but questions have been asked only about two cricketers. They are low-profile cricketers. They are not going to rip their shirt off and create a scene (if they are dropped),” Sunil Gavaskar said on Sony Sports Network.

Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane

Rahane and, especially Pujara have shown significant deficiencies against the moving ball, especially outside the off-stump and the pattern of their dismissals has been repetitive.

Gavaskar, however, believes that apart from Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajiniya Rahane, the Indian support staff (Read: batting coach) also need to take a fair share of the blame for their inability to address the fallacies.

Just let Ajinkya Rahane play. Yes, if he does not score runs here there is cause for concern but that cause for concern has to be regarding his technical abilities, with Pujara as well. The way he has got out in Australia playing down the wrong, being beaten by the outswinger nothing has changed as far as that is concerned. So what is happening? Who is the one to take care of it? Not just with Pujara. There’s a staff there. If you are getting out in the same manner, then there is something wrong not just with your technique but also the guys who are supposed to help you,” Gavaskar added.

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Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.