While Ajinkya Rahane’s woeful outing in the recent times might be a matter of concern for many, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly is not one of them.
Rahane entered the Test series against Sri Lanka low on confidence, managing 99 runs in four Ranji Trophy innings including a couple of ducks. And his poor form continued against the Islanders too.
In a series, where Virat Kohli scored two double centuries and a century while the likes of Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma also notched up centuries, Rahane cut a sorry figure throughput.
In five innings, he crossed the two-digit mark just once when he scored ten, as he finished the three-match series with mere 17 runs to his name.
However, Ganguly is confident the Mumbai star would turn around things when India visits South Africa next month for a full-fledged series which will start with the three-match Test series.
“No, I don’t think Ajinkya Rahane’s form is a concern as he is a quality player. Virat Kohli, Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay have all been to South Africa. The best thing is that they are going back to South Africa as better players,” Ganguly told PTI.
Well, the Indian team-management is also not too concerned with Rahane’s form, and the reason behind it can be his phenomenal overseas record. The difference in Rahane’s performance at home and away is an interesting one. While his average at home is modest 36.88, he averages more than 53 in away games.
With conditions in South Africa likely to be in bowlers’ favour, Ganguly advised the Indian team to go in with an extra batsman. Rohit Sharma made a stunning comeback in Tests by scoring two consecutive centuries against Sri Lanka while playing in place of Hardik Pandya who was rested during the series.
Many feel Pandya might struggle on the bouncy tracks, but Ganguly said that one should not conclude without seeing the all-rounder play on such tracks.
“You will not realise till you give Hardik a chance. Depends on how you want to go about it,” he said.
“Rohit Sharma did well in the two chances that he got. If it’s a flat track, may be we should have that extra fast bowler in the XI, but if it’s a green top, we should definitely have an extra batsman,” he opined.
The legendary skipper went on to say Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay should open the innings against the Proteas.
“Shikhar Dhawan has been in such great form, and Murali Vijay has also played well against Sri Lanka,” he said.
Expectations are high from the current Indian team which has won last of its nine series. However, Ganguly made it clear that Virat Kohli & Co. won’t find it easy in the upcoming series.
“India are a good team, but it won’t be easy that much I can tell you. If the batsmen put up runs on the board, this attack can get wickets,” he concluded.
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