Indian middle-order batter Ajinkya Rahane might have played a fluent knock in the second innings of the Johannesburg Test but he fell cheaply on Day 1 of the final Test in Cape Town.
India opted to bat once again after winning the toss for the third time in the series. Skipper Virat Kohli had no qualms in choosing to bat with the idea of setting up a big total on the board and building the pressure.
However, they were in trouble early on as both the openers fell within the first hour of play. Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli then stitched a 62-run partnership before the former was dismissed by a peach from Marco Jansen in the second session.
Out walked Ajinkya Rahane who was favored over Hanuma Vihari. There were a lot of expectations from Rahane but he failed to live up to them as he was sent back by Kagiso Rabada on 8.
The delivery he received was rather unplayable and there was nothing much that Rahane could have done. In addition, it was the first ball after the drinks break and Rahane couldn’t get his concentration back. Nevertheless, calls for his axing grew louder after the failure.
Vihari, who was sent to South Africa for India ‘A’ tour, played in the second Test and scored some handy runs playing with the lower-order. Unfortunately, as Dravid had hinted, senior players were the priority and Rahane was included over Vihari in the Test.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to Ajinkya Rahane’s dismissal:
— Abhishek (@be_mewadi) January 11, 2022
— Suraj JhunjhunuWala (@JhunjhunuSuraj) January 11, 2022
— Varun Giri (@Varungiri0) January 11, 2022
— Pranav Reddy (@PranavDareddy) January 11, 2022
Imagine going back to the dressing room after scoring just 9, and there is sitting a guy who played a gritty knock in the previous inning. For whom half of the cricket community has been rooting to play. How do you make eye contact with him? Poor #Rahane#SAvIND
— Yathartha Sharma (@shree_maan) January 11, 2022
Form is temporary but my selection is permanent – Ajinkya Rahane #Rahane
— Divyansh (@ImSpeearrs) January 11, 2022
— Global Movie Lover 🇮🇳 (@GlobalMovieLov2) January 11, 2022
— sailesh (@smathavan2001) January 11, 2022
At least now, can we thank #Rahane and move on? It’s absolutely disgusting that this man is occupying the no. 5 slot after so many failures and @Hanumavihari is being denied his rightful place in the playing XI even after so many gutsy performances #INDvsSA @SriniMaama16 #vihari
— Madrasiwala (@mpvinodh) January 11, 2022
ajinkya rahane's wagon wheel in tests pic.twitter.com/SuNcYlnfsx
— tanu #LetVihariPlay (@castledstub) January 11, 2022
— Ravish Bisht (@ravs10) January 11, 2022