Former Indian player Aakash Chopra reckons stand-in captain, Ajinkya Rahane, might feel his time is running out, and a failure in the first Test against New Zealand could be fatal for his career.
The 33-year-old Rahane is set to lead the home side in the first match that begins on November 25 in Kanpur. He is currently going through a terrible dry patch, something that lasted for a couple of years now. If he fails to turn up for the Kanpur Test, he may be shown the door by the selectors.
“It is extremely important. There are a lot of people who are breathing under his neck. The series is significant because he may be the captain in the first Test, but he is under pressure without a doubt.
“If the last Test in England had taken place at Old Trafford, God knows if he would have been there in the playing XI or not, after what happened at The Oval,” Chopra said in a video on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra names four players who can potentially replace Ajinkya Rahane
Aakash Chopra went on to suggest four names who can bat in the middle-order in place on Rahane should the experienced pro have a tough time in the first Test.
“He is the captain for the first Test, but Virat Kohli will be back for the second. Remember, when India go to South Africa, Rohit Sharma will be back. For the New Zealand series, India have picked Mayank [Agarwal], Shreyas [Iyer], Shubman [Gill].”
“Whoever gets the opportunity, if he scores a lot of runs, Rahane’s place will come under the scanner. There is Hanuma Vihari as well, who has not been picked for the New Zealand Tests,” Chopra further mentioned.
Kohli will return for the second Test and take over the captaincy role. Rishabh Pant and Rohit Sharma have been rested for the series but are expected to be back for the South Africa tour.