Former Indian pacer, Zaheer Khan reckons that there is more pressure on Cheteshwar Pujara than Ajinkya Rahane ahead of the second Test against New Zealand, scheduled to be commencing on December 3 in Mumbai. Both Pujara and Rahane’s positions in the Indian Test squad have been scrutinized this year after their repeated failures with the bat. Pujara scored 26 and 22 in both innings of the Kanpur Test while stand-in skipper Rahane made 35 and 4 at the Green Park Stadium.
Talking about the same, during a chat on Cricbuzz, Zaheer Khan said, “The middle-order headache for this Test has come after Iyer’s fantastic debut performance. Iyer made good use of his opportunity. Virat Kohli is sure to come in, so there needs to be space made in the middle-order. I think there is a bit more pressure on Pujara and that is not entirely performance-based.”
He further added, “Have seen in previous instances that often an opener gets dropped. They might go in a direction and ask whether Pujara can open in these conditions, but there is no denying that there needs to be some shuffling.”
Zaheer khan also feels that Shreyas Iyer should play the second Test in Mumbai, he said, “Iyer should definitely play, there is absolutely no question about it. They either have to drop an opener or drop either one of Pujara or Rahane.”
Former Indian fast bowler also said that India might not look to make any changes in the bowling department but if they do, then he thinks Axar Patel can be seen making way for Mohammed Siraj.
Explaining the same, Zaheer Khan said, “I don’t think determining the bowling attack would be a difficult decision. Siraj has been a mainstay now with good consistent performances. If India decides to play 3 seamers then Axar Patel will be the bowler who will have to make way. But pitches in India always have some turn, on offer after Day 3, so don’t think there will be too many changes in the bowling combination.”