After his failures in the series-opener against England, a lot of questions were raised over Rohit Sharma’s form after he scored six and 12 runs in the first Test, but the Indian deputy skipper in Tests, Ajinkya Rahane has a belief that the opener to come good in the upcoming games. During a virtual press conference on Friday, Rahane said that one or two bad games don’t define Rohit’s form. The vice-captain praised Rohit and said everyone is well aware of the latter’s ability to score big runs once he is set.
Ajinkya Rahane said, “Rohit (Sharma) is an important member of our team. A big score doesn’t imply that you have to score a century or 150. He made important contributions in Australia. You can’t judge a player over 4-6 innings or one or two matches. You need to back your players and Rohit is the kind of cricketer who has won matches for India. We know when Rohit gets set he scores big. We’re really happy to have Rohit in the team.”
Former cricketers including Ricky Ponting had criticized the batting approach of Cheteshwar Pujara during the Australia tour, but Rahane backed the batsman and said Pujara knows his role and game.
Pujara registered his slowest fifty in Test cricket in Melbourne Test against Australia, and Ponting had said the batsman’s slow batting created an unwanted pressure on the non-striker, who had to compensate for his slow approach. Rahane also backed Pujara’s playing style and said his role is very important and crucial for the Indian team.
As per the quotes in ANI, Ajinkya Rahane said, “No one questioned his approach (slow) about his batting in the team and that’s what matters. We know Pujara’s role and how crucial he is for our team and we are really happy with the way he played in Australia and the way he is playing right now. He knows his game really well. He has played 80 odd Test matches. No one questioned his ability or how he played in Australia.”
India all-rounder Axar Patel has recovered completely and will be expected to make his debut in the longest format of the game during the second Test.
Talking about the spinner, Ajinkya Rahane said, “Everyone is in the mix, the good thing is Axar is fit to play. See all our spinners are really good and if given a chance I’m sure they will do really well.”
Since Axar is available for selection for the second Test, the All-India Senior Selection Committee on Thursday withdrew Shahbaaz Nadeem and Rahul Chahar from the main squad and added the duo back to the group of standby players.
England registered a huge win by 227 runs over India in the first Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday. England’s winning start against India in their ICC World Test Championship series has kept alive the visiting side’s hopes of making the final of the nine-team competition.