Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan has recommended Ajinkya Rahane to go back to the domestic circuit and work on his weaknesses. Rahane’s form has been abysmal in Test cricket and has been exposed in English conditions.
The slump Rahane finds himself in can’t be worked out at the international level. He needs to take a break and find some form before he goes completely out of favor with the national side, as per Zaheer Khan.
“It’s all form-based. You’ll have to go back, analyze and work hard, and then only you can move ahead… It’s important to pull such a player out of the pressure zone and give him a chance [to improve]. We say this in Hindi that the more you try to force yourself out of the swamp, the more you get trapped in it,” Zaheer said.
Rahane was demoted in the batting order in the Oval Test, with Ravindra Jadeja being sent ahead of him. This would have affected his confidence and will only result in worse performances.
“At such a moment, other than just technical things, you have then overcome all the mental pressure as well. The more you are in this situation, the more [poor] knocks that’ll go beside your name, the worse it will get for you,” the 42-year-old added.
“When you are struggling, it’s imperative to take few steps back” – Zaheer Khan
Zaheer advised the out-of-form Indian vice-captain to seek redemption by beginning from domestic cricket. The margin of error is much wider at that level and Rahane can try to fix the chinks in his batting.
“When you are in a purple patch you should try and play as many games as possible. But, similarly, when you are struggling to gain form, it’s imperative to take a few steps back, see everything from a wider lens… if you want to play first-class cricket, do that because the pressure there is relatively less and you can try new things,” Zaheer concluded.
Apart from his 61-run knock at Lord’s, Rahane has looked scratchy throughout and might have reached the end of his rope.