India’s stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane on Wednesday talked about opener KL Rahul missing the two-match Test series against New Zealand at home due to an injury. Rahane also acknowledged that Rahul will be dearly missed but also remained optimistic that it will be a chance for others to prove their mettle.
While addressing a press conference on the eve of the first Test match at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur, Ajinkya Rahane said, “See, it is a big blow. KL Rahul is not available for these two Test matches, he did really well in England. He was in good form and played really well. Obviously, we will miss him but we have guys who can fill that slot, guys who did well for us in the past. Not too worried about the opening slot.”
Apart from Rahul being forced to sit out, other Indian stalwarts like, Virat Kohli (only for the first Test), Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Rishabh Pant have been rested. Addressing this aspect, Rahane said this will be a good opportunity for the youngster to prove their mettle.
Talking about the same, Ajinkya Rahane said, “First of all, we will miss these three guys (Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, and Rohit Sharma). But it is a good opportunity for all the youngsters to play, whoever gets an opportunity, they will look to play with freedom. This team is all about backing one another. Conditions here and conditions in South Africa will be different, first, we are thinking about this series.”
Team India and the Black Caps are going to face off in a two-match Test series. After registering a dominating 3-0 win over the Kiwis in the recently-concluded T20I series, India will host the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Kane Williamson-led NZ has all to play for as they would look to bag their country’s first-ever series win on Indian soil.