- Rahane scored 35 and four in the first Test against New Zealand.
- Rahane averages less than 20 in 12 Tests this year.
- The second match of the series is to be played in Mumbai from December 3.
Kanpur. More than anyone else, Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane himself is trying to find his rhythm by scoring big scores and it is just a matter of an innings, Indian cricket team head coach Rahul Dravid said here on Monday. Rahane, who has been leading the side in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, scored 35 and four runs in the drawn Test against New Zealand here. He averages less than 20 in 12 Tests this year.
When Dravid was asked whether Rahane’s rhythm is a cause of concern for the team, he said, “There is no need to worry too much about it. Obviously you would like Ajinkya to score more runs for you, he himself would like the same.
“He is a talented player and has done well for India in the past. He is one of those people who have the skills and experience. It’s just a matter of one match, he knows it and we understand it too.
With skipper Kohli returning in the next Test in Mumbai, will Shreyas Iyer be dropped to replace Rahane in the last 11?
Dravid said, “We have not decided what our playing XI will be and it is too early. At least today our focus was on this match. When we go to Mumbai, we will take stock of the situation and check the fitness of the people. Virat Kohli will also join together, so we will have to discuss with him and then take a decision.
He praised Iyer, who traveled from Under-19 cricket to Test cricket, calling it the success of Indian cricket.
“It’s good to see youngsters doing well on straight debut and we have seen a couple of players in T20s as well who have made a mark in the opening games,” he said.
Regarding the pitch, the coach said, “We showed a lot of patience and fighting spirit and worked really hard in that last session. The pitch was not helping on the fifth day. The ball was not moving and it was a really great effort to take eight wickets after lunch.
He said, “Had there been a little bit of luck, the turn of the match would have turned towards us. I think the players worked really hard.
Dravid was surprised that the ball was getting very little turn from the pitch on the fifth day of the match and the ball was not moving unevenly. This prevented the ball from taking the edge of the bat and limited the role of the slips and the fielders standing around the batsman.
Dravid said, “The ball was coming slow with the bottom, maybe it didn’t have bounce and turn. On the fifth day the pitch cracks in Indian conditions but it was nothing like that.
Dravid said, “Usually on the fifth day in India, the spinners get help, the ball hits the edge of the bat and then the surrounding fielders have to play the role. but that did not happen. Even till the last day of the match, very few catches were taken close to the bat.
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