There are a lot of people breathing under Ajinkya Rahane’s neck, says Aakash Chopra
Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra believes the Test series against New Zealand at home will be extremely crucial for Ajinkya Rahane to keep his career afloat. Aakash Chopra pointed out that India has a lot of young middle-order options waiting behind the scenes if Ajinkya Rahane fails again.
Ajinkya Rahane, 33, will lead India in the first Test against New Zealand. However, he’s had a horror run with the bat over the past year, which has seen his average drop to under 40. In fact, he’s averaged just 19.58 in 11 tests in 2021, its lowest average in a year since its debut in 2013..
Aakash Chopra: Ajinkya Rahane under pressure to keep his place in the team despite being captain of the 1st test
Aakash Chopra agreed when asked if the next round of testing in New Zealand would be a do-or-die for Ajinkya Rahane.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra commented: “It’s extremely important. There are a lot of people breathing under his neck. The series is important because he may be the captain of the first Test, but he is undoubtedly under pressure.
“If the last test in England had been at Old Trafford, God knows whether he would have been there in the game XI or not, after what happened at The Oval.”
Aakash Chopra added that if Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer or Shubman Gill have an extraordinary series against New Zealand, Ajinkya Rahane will be in more trouble.
Aakash Chopra, 44, explained: “He is the captain of the first Test but Virat Kohli will be back for the second. Remember that when India goes to South Africa, Rohit Sharma will be back. For the New Zealand series, India chose Mayank, Shreyas, Shubman. Whoever has the opportunity, if he scores a lot of points, Rahane’s place will pass under the scanner. There is also Hanuma Vihari, who was not selected for the New Zealand tests.
With Virat Kohli resting for the 1st test at Kanpur, Ajinkya Rahane will lead India in the first test against New Zealand in Kanpur, which starts on November 25. Ajinkya Rahane has struggled to race in red ball cricket this year, averaging just over 19 out of 11 tests. He will look to regain his touch before leading the Indian squad in the series opener against first-time test world champions New Zealand on November 25.
Ajinkya Rahane led India in 5 tests, and India won 4 and drew 1. 3 of those wins were against Australia and one against Afghanistan.
Gautam Gambhir: Ajinkya Rahane is lucky to be part of the Indian squad and he has to make this opportunity count
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir felt Ajinkya Rahane was lucky to have another chance to save his Test career in the home series against New Zealand. Notably, Ajinkya Rahane has played 40 tests and scored 7 half-centuries and 3 tons since 2019. Earlier this year he led India to a historic Down Under series victory, but on the batting front he didn’t failed to impress.
Speaking about India’s batting combination ahead of the series, Gambhir said on Star Sports: “I’m going to open with Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul because he opened in England and then probably Shubman Gill will beat at No 4. Plus, Rahane is lucky enough that he’s still on this team because he leads . But again he has another opportunity now, I hope he can take advantage of it. “
Ajinkya Rahane had a bad streak in England. He scored 109 points in four tests with an average of 15.57. Rahane scored a hundred in the Boxing Day Test in MCG (Australia 2020/21 test run), but then went through another difficult period. His fight continued against England at home as he scored just 112 points in 4 tests.
During the UK tour, he played a hard hit of 61 in the second round of the Lord’s Test, contributing to India’s formidable victory. After that, however, he worked hard even to cross the 20-point mark in subsequent games.