The commentator also questioned Rahane being named as the captain for the first Test when his position in the strongest eleven is not assured. Virat Kohli has been rested from the first Test and Rohit Sharma from both Tests.
While there is no doubt about Rahane’s captaincy and leadership qualities, his form with the bat has been concerning. He has been low on runs so much that Aakash Chopra believes Rahane could have been dropped from the now-cancelled fifth Test in England.
“You have picked Ajinkya Rahane as the captain. But the truth is also that, let’s be honest, there was a question about him being selected for the last Test against England if the match had happened,” Aakash Chopra said in his YouTube video.
“As much as I like Ajinkya Rahane, the fact is that the average has been seen falling down only. There has been an odd good knock in between for sure but the average has fallen 20 points in the last two years. Rahane’s average has never gone so low.”
Rahane has been really ordinary by any standards: Aakash Chopra
Since the start of 2020, Rahane has scored 644 runs in 27 Test innings with a below-par average of 24.76 with one century and two half-centuries to his name.
Aakash Chopra reckons Rahane’s form has been below average and only his 61 at Lord’s has kept him in the side. However, when both Kohli and Sharma are back in the eleven, and if he doesn’t score against New Zealand, Rahane could be dropped on the South Africa tour.
“If he had not made the half-century at Lord’s – the partnership with Pujara in the second innings, it would have been a further point of discussion if you had to find a replacement for Ajju as well. If Rohit Sharma will be the vice-captain and Ajinkya might be put on notice. But at this moment, he has been named the captain.
“It is a very important series for Rahane. He is there as a captain but he will have to score runs because there is pressure. The last one year has been really ordinary from his standards, by any standards actually,” the 44-year-old former opener stated.
India’s Test squad vs New Zealand:
Ajinkya Rahane (C), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vc), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Md. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna
Virat Kohli will join the squad for the second Test and will lead the team