Cheteshwar Pujara-Ajinkya Rahane were dismissed for low scores in the first innings of the second Test against South Africa. While Pujara scored 3 off 33 balls, Rahane was out for a first-ball duck. Their modes of dismissals were very similar to how they have been dismissed in the past as well.
Meanwhile, former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra while speaking to Cricbuzz said that both Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have been good players for India at their peak and that comparing them with Virat Kohli is not justified. Both Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane along with the Indian Test skipper have endured a difficult time in the last two years in international cricket. Rahne’s Test ton in Melbourne is the only century scored among the three in the meantime.
“Even Virat Kohli has similar numbers but people are not questioning his place in the team. Obviously, he is the captain and what Kohli has done is on a completely different level from the two batters we are talking about. It is not fair to compare, but Rahane and Pujara have also been second to none at their peak, especially the latter,” Nehra said on Cricbuzz.
The former Indian pacer moreover has asked the management to back the under-fire players despite their poor form. Ajinkya Rahane has scored 68 in three innings at an average of 22.67. Pujara is not even in the top five run-getters in the series so far.
Cheteshwar Pujara-Ajinkya Rahane Have Been In Big Trouble Off Late: Ashish Nehra
“If you have backed a player like Rahane for the 1st Test, it would be better to carry on with him for the rest of the series. Obviously, Rahane was the one who was out (officially due to injury) when Kohli came back for the second Test against New Zealand, though he led the team in the first,” said Nehra.
“Agreed, both Pujara and Rahane have been in big trouble of late. But changing players in the middle of an important series is a big decision,” he further added.
A total of 11 wickets fell on day 1 of the second Test in Johannesburg. India were bowled out for 202 with stand-in skipper KL Rahul (50) and Ravichandran Ashwin (46) only amongst the runs.
The Protean pacers rocked the Indian batters consistently with Marco Jansen picking four wickets and Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier picking three each.