Sanjay Manjrekar, former Indian batsman-turned commentator, has reckoned that Ajinkya Rahane might not be the same batsman that he was during the first two years of his career, but the vice-captain is still good enough to be a regular middle-order batsmen in the longest format of the game.
Manjrekar feels that even though KL Rahul has been scoring truckloads of runs in white-ball cricket, that should not be the parameter for his return to the Test side.
“KL Rahul has been brilliant at number five. Yes granted, Rahane doesn’t look the same player he was in the first two years of his Test career and I would like to see that kind of form coming back,” Sanjay Manjrekar said on Youtube channel while answering fans questions.
KL Rahul has to score a truckload of runs in domestic cricket to get back in the Test team: Sanjay Manjrekar
Ajinkya Rahane had a breakout first two years in Test cricket where he scored tough runs across all conditions and impinged himself as a bedrock of the Test team.
But the right-hander went through a significant slump in form between 2017-19 and it was only in the last season where he looked like getting some of his lost rhythm back.
Manjrekar, however, would like to see a bit more consistency from his fellow Mumbaikar.
“It comes in little sparse, sometimes, but not as consistently as he would like. But based on his runs that he has got, I don’t think it is right to think of Rahul at number five in Test matches,” added Manjrekar.
As for KL Rahul’s Test return, Manjrekar reminded his fans that the last time the 28-year-old played a Test match (vs West Indies), he didn’t exactly set the stage on fire.
“The last time he (Rahul) played Test cricket, he wasn’t that impressive and let’s not get too carried away with a batsman getting runs in T20 and 50 overs cricket and push into Test match cricket,” Sanjay Manjrekar added.
Rahul was dropped from the Test side after the Test series against the West Indies in 2019 and Sanjay Manjrekar feels that the only way for the talented batsman to make a comeback is by scoring heaps of runs in FC cricket.
“So, (for) KL Rahul to nudge the Indian batsman at the test level in the middle-order, he will have to get a truckload of runs at the domestic level, just like (Mayank) Agarwal did to get in the Indian team,” he reckoned.