Dinesh Karthik, ICC T20 World Cup 2021
Dinesh Karthik (Image Credit: Twitter)

Senior cricketer and commentator Dinesh Karthik opined that Ajinkya Rahane is likely to be dropped from the upcoming Mumbai Test versus New Zealand as Virat Kohli returns to the lead the side.

Shreyas Iyer’s magnificent debut in Kanpur – where Iyer became the first Indian to score a century and fifty on Test debut – and Rahane’s scores of 35 and 4 may have just pushed him over the edge.

Dinesh Karthik pointed out that Rahane has been struggling for runs for a long while – he averages 19.6 in 12 Tests in 2021. The wicket-keeper also believes that benching Rahane for one Test would actually help some pressure off the senior statesman.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo: Twitter)

“With Shreyas Iyer coming in and doing so well, I think the pressure will obviously be on Rahane and he might be the one to be dropped. This has happened during a tour of South Africa when Rahane was dropped for a game before he again came back. There is no harm if Rahane’s dropped for a game,” Dinesh Karthik told Cricbuzz.

“Iyer has literally taken India to safe zone in this Test on his own. He’s done really well. And It’s not like Rahane has not been among the runs in 1-2 Tests. It has been going on for a long time now. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing for him to be dropped. It will ease some of the pressure on him,” he added.

A similar sort of baggage is there on Pujara too: Dinesh Karthik

Another batsman who is bordering on the verge of being dropped is Cheteshwar Pujara, who averages 27 since the start of 2020, and hasn’t scored a century since January 2019.

Dinesh Karthik reckons the two batters themselves know that they haven’t performed upto their level.

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara
Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I do think a similar sort of baggage is there on (Cheteshwar) Pujara too. He hasn’t got a hundred in a long time. And since the start of 2020, he too has averaged in the mid-20s. These are two players who have set their standards very high. They would know they haven’t performed according to expectations,” the wicket-keeper stated.

The second Test starts on December 3 in Mumbai, after which India fly out for South Africa.

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