What’s going on in Dravid-Rahane’s mind? A roundabout answer given on the playing XI of the Mumbai Test

Newly-appointed coach Rahul Dravid and caretaker captain Ajinkya Rahane heaped praise on Shreyas Iyer after the first Test against New Zealand at Kanpur ended in a draw. However, when questioned on the playing XI of the second Test of the series, both gave round-the-clock answers. In the debut test, Shreyas Iyer scored a century in the first innings, while he scored a half-century in the second innings. He was adjudged man of the match for scoring the most runs in the match.

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.

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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, so we have to discuss with him and then take a decision.

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On the other hand, Rahane, who has been in poor form for some time now, heaped praise on debutant Shreyas Iyer but did not specify who would make a place for Virat Kohli in the next Test in Mumbai. Rahane said, ‘I am extremely happy for Shreyas. He had to wait a long time to make his debut. The way he was batting, first-class cricket has been fantastic. Virat is making a comeback in the next match. The management will decide on it (on the playing XI).’

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Mumbai-born Ejaz Patel (2 not out off 23 balls) and Karnataka-born Rachin Ravindra (18 not out off 91 balls) batted 8.4 overs after the ninth wicket fell to give New Zealand a memorable draw in the deteriorating light. The second Test will be played in Mumbai from December 3 to 7.


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