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  1. The first match of the Indian Premier League gave the views a little taste of how the rest of the season is going to look, especially after the 2022 mega auction that completely altered the squads and dressing rooms of the franchises. For instance, there were a few surprising innings played by people who were being talked down to for their recent slump in performance. View this post on Instagram First, it was the former captain of the Chennai Super Kings, MS Dhoni who went on the cricket ground and struck a much-awaited half-century in just 38 balls. Giving up captain of the CSK merely a couple of days ahead of the opening-day match, Dhoni was believed to be a lot more confident and focused on his own abilities as a player, without worrying about the rest of the 10-12 people. And then came an even bigger surprise with the recently dropped Test cricket specialist Ajinkya Rahane, who was made to open the batting order with his teammate and partner Venkatesh Iyer. Rahane not only played an innings completely different from what he is expected to play like in red-ball cricket, but he also struck six 4’s and one 6 on his way to a 44-run batting outing off just 34 deliveries. View this post on Instagram Excited and hyped by the way the 33-year old showed strength and resolve to perform at a high level despite the lack of public support and the mental stress of being dropped from the Indian team for not performing well enough, Rahane’s supporters went on Twitter to celebrate his return to the IPL and potentially to the form that he had lost. Ajinkya Rahane departs after a brilliant 44 in 34 balls. A great return for him in the IPL, he has made the opportunity count. pic.twitter.com/mCuGRH33Xi — Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) March 26, 2022You maybe a rich kid and drive the best car in the India But will never be able to straight drive like rahane #KKRHaiTaiyaar #kkr #CSKvKKR pic.twitter.com/9xRS5GwDFe — tem_dawood_dolan (@Aditya32303369) March 26, 2022Run rate dropped after Rahane's wicket, what an irony for rahane trollers — Straight Cut (@StraightCut_) March 26, 2022This is the Ajinkya Rahane of that Rajasthan Royals I knew and supported — Udit (@udit_buch) March 26, 2022Following the first match of IPL 2022, Rahane has played 152 matches within the tournament while having scored a total of 3985 runs with a strike rate of 121.42. He also has two IPL centuries in his name and has struck 28 half-centuries as well. However, not a lot of people were convinced with all the hype around the Marathi cricketer’s season debut as they might still be scarred from the numerous and consecutive matches in international cricket where he has struggled and failed to add a lot of value to the team he’s playing for. Thank you for your contribution to Ind Team. Ab hum tujhe IPL mein KKR se khilva Rahe hai. Isko enjoy karo aur Team Ind mein vapis aane ki BAAt mat karna. Dada to Jinks — Sahil Chibber (@sahil_chibber) March 26, 2022If this is good, then I wonder why you guys used to blame Gill for the same kind of innings. — Femiclar Secunist (@UNOwen52049192) March 27, 2022Who was stopping him to score runs while he was playing for team India... — Sunny 3.O (@Sunny3_O) March 26, 2022Who told u to play like in test match at dc and rr? — ഗോപാലകൃഷ്ണൻ (@crazygopalaan) March 26, 2022 View the full article
  2. Former India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane paid the price for his inconsistent form when he was dropped from India’s Test squad last week for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka. Along with Rahane, several other senior players Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant Sharma were also shown the exit door by the senior national selection panel and were asked to play Ranji Trophy for their respective state units. © Reuters On his return to the domestic circuit after a long time, the Mumbai batter stole the limelight by scoring a century against defending champions Saurashtra in the first innings as the match ended in a draw. It was the first century to have come off Rahane’s bat in over 12 months. His knock had increased the hopes of his fans who wanted him to succeed in domestic cricket and make a comeback to the Indian team. © Reuters However, they were all left disappointed on Thursday morning when the right-handed batter got out for a three-ball duck in the first innings against Goa. Rahane was trapped leg before by young fast bowler Lakshay Garg. Even when Rahane was in the Indian team, consistency was an issue and that’s what cost him his place in the side. After he failed to open his account, the people started trolling him, saying that the old habits don’t die that easily and he had returned to his normal. Last match me Pujara ne kia, ab Rahane kar dia. Old habits die hard. — FieldMarshal JoJo Rabbit (@I_FieldMarshal) February 24, 2022Back to normal — Gaurav Chavan (@_fearless18_) February 24, 2022Back to the work — Diwakar¹⁸ (@diwakarkumar47) February 24, 2022Iska shuru ho gaya. Ek acha innings, ab chill marega thoda — Rishi (@rizzoli264) February 24, 2022Back to his form... — Kalai_the_Comrade_ˢᵘʳⁱʸᵃ ᵐᵃᶠⁱᵃ (@kalai_sfc_) February 24, 2022Normal service resume — (@Lneo3yOPlBD3cR1) February 24, 20221 match aacha khela ab 10 match kharab khelega — Shreyash (@Shreyash_2204) February 24, 2022Back to his prime form again Legend for a reason — Chicha Snoop (@vader__11) February 24, 2022Another Test veteran Pujara also failed cheaply in the first innings of Saurahstra's second game of the season against Odisha. He scored two boundaries during his brief stay in the middle and was dismissed for eight runs. © Reuters Both Rahane and Pujara have served the Indian cricket team for a long time and have played a key role in the team's success all over the world. However, their poor form has forced the selectors to look for their alternatives. Although the selectors have not shut the door on them completely, it’s hard to see them making a comeback to the red-ball squad. The only way both these senior players can force the selectors to pick them is by piling runs on a consistent basis. These hits and misses are not going to help their cause. View the full article
  3. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced Rohit Sharma as India’s Test captain, as he took over the mantle from former Indian skipper Virat Kohli. JUST IN: India have named their new permanent Test captain. Details https://t.co/lgLdDROGyE — ICC (@ICC) February 19, 2022 Rohit was appointed as the vice-captain of the Test team in December 2021 after Ajnkya Rahane was removed as captain due to his poor form. Jasprit Bumrah has been appointed as the T20 & Test vice-captain for the Sri Lanka series. Jasprit Bumrah appointed as T20 & Test vice-captain for the upcoming Sri Lanka series (file pic) pic.twitter.com/6w9OCWZFCI — ANI (@ANI) February 19, 2022 Speaking to the media, chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma said, “Rohit Sharma is the number one cricketer of our country,” while announcing that the 34-year-old will be leading India in the upcoming two-Test series against Sri Lanka, which starts on March 4th 2022. Ahead of this decision being announced a lot of Sharma’s critics had made their concern known regarding his fitness. However, putting the questions to rest, Chairman Man assured that the batter’s fitness was not an issue whatsoever. © Reuters “Today's professional cricketers manage their body and Rohit has not problem at all and he is absolutely okay. And if such an experienced and big cricketer comes forward and becomes captain, then the future captains to be groomed under Rohit would be a tremendous thing for us,” he said. Meanwhile, as the squad for India’s upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka was announced, the names of India batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have been dropped. © Reuters "The selection committee thought a lot before making the decision. We spoke to them earlier. We told them we will not consider them for 2 Test matches for Sri Lanka. We told them the doors are absolutely open for them. In just 2 Test matches, selectors decided to give chances to other cricketers. They are playing Ranji Trophy," Sharma said. © Reuters KL Rahul will also be unavailable due to fitness concerns. Twitter was instantly abuzz after news of Pujara and Rahane being dropped from the squad broke and the reactions were mixed: This was a good chance for rahane and pujara to statpad against lanka in home and secure place for next 1 more year ... Plan got failed — Kartik (@kchandwaskar) February 19, 2022Sad for Rahane and Pujara but this was coming anyways due to poor form in last couple of years. But still great servants of Indian cricket — Miscellaneous (@Indiannomadic) February 19, 2022Good very good not just for Rohit as captain but also good not playing Rahane and Pujara drop in Srilanka test series. One match making 150 in domestic doesn't mean Rahane get chance. Play more matches improve ur form both Rahane and Pujara — Sourav Chaudhury (@SouravChaudhur5) February 19, 2022I think pujara still have that potential, We must not drop him — vikas pandey (@vikaspandey6) February 19, 2022Very good decision to drop them. Well done @BCCI — vincy jackoo7 (@vinayakkjadha7) February 19, 2022 India's Test Squad For SL Series: Rohit Sharma (C), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, KS Bharat, Ashwin (fitness), Ravi Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep, Bumrah (VC), Shami, Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Sourabh Kumar. Source: TOI View the full article
  4. Ajinkya Rahane dropped a bombshell on Thursday when he accused Ravi Shastri and Co of taking credit for the decisions he made during India's historic win over Australia Down Under. Rahane, during an interview with sports journalist Boria Majumdar, had said that "I took the decisions on the field or in the dressing room but someone else took credit for it." The storm that Rahane caused by taking a shot at the 'credit stealers' has not even settled yet and another comment from the same interview has created another stir on social media. "I know what I've done there. I don't need to tell anyone. That's not my nature to go and take credit." Ajinkya Rahane spoke about his pivotal role in India's series win against Australia in 2020-21 https://t.co/7yH2rNuacZ — ICC (@ICC) February 11, 2022 After taking a cryptic dig at the former head coach and others, Rahane's fresh statement that has been doing the rounds is now targeted towards the selectors. The 33-year-old batter last played limited-overs international cricket back in 2018 and he cited lack of game time as the reason behind his diminishing batting prowess. Not getting game time made matters difficult. With no domestic cricket because of covid it became tough. However much you train it is not the same as game time in the middle. @ajinkyarahane88 on #BackstageWithBoria @AgeasFederal pic.twitter.com/W6P9csHfcv — Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) February 10, 2022 "I was playing ODI cricket continuously for Team India and I was doing really well. Suddenly, I got dropped, I don't want to go into that, I don't want to go into my past but the reality is I was playing well in 2014, 15, 16, and 17. ODI and Test cricket both were going really well. After that I hardly got game time, there was a huge gap between Test matches," Rahane said. "Sometimes, the reality is, when you play only one format and especially in the last 2-3 years where there is no Ranji cricket and no other domestic games, I think that needs to be taken into account because you can't score runs sitting at home,” he added. While Rahane blamed selection for his string of low scores, fans showed him a mirror by putting out his numbers in white-ball cricket that led to his ouster from the team. And you said that unfortunately you got dropped from White ball team but in reality you got dropped because of your poor performances. Your numbers in red ball cricket are also very very poor from 2016 but still team management is giving back to back chances to you — Gutte Vaibhav (@gutte_vaibhav) February 10, 2022I respect @ajinkyarahane88 but him saying about getting dropped in white ball format is really not nice. His average is 35 in ODI and 20 in T20. 110% we have better players than that for that position and hence he was not looked. #BoriaBackstage #Rahane #IndianCricketTeam — Abhi Panchal (@iamabhi1909) February 10, 2022With due respect … Rahane has served India well but what are his credentials or success stories in t20/ white ball cricket … neither number s as player nor trophy as captian — USom_Cryptos (@USom_Cryptos) February 10, 2022 Rahane's form has been a cause of concern for Team India in the recent past and fans as well as cricket experts have been after his head. The Mumbai-batter will get a chance to get back his form in the upcoming season of Ranji Trophy, in what would be a virtual audition, and keep his place in the Indian Test team for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka at home. View the full article
  5. India’s former Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has dropped a bombshell about how some people undermined his role in the historic Test series win in Australia and stole the credit for the decisions that he made during that series. Although he didn’t take any names, many believe that his comments were aimed at former head coach Ravi Shastri and the rest of the staff members. © Reuters In Virat Kohli’s absence, Rahane played a massive role in the remarkable turnaround of the team’s fortunes, especially after the humiliating loss in Adelaide where they were knocked over for 36 runs – their lowest total in the history of Test cricket. Apart from dropping a bombshell, Rahane also spoke highly of India’s current white-ball skipper Rohit Sharma in the same interview. He acknowledged how big of a support the opener was in that series. © Instagram/Ajinkya Rahane The 33-year-old veteran said that having Rohit around was a great help because they both believe in the same philosophy which is to “back each and everyone”. Comparing his leadership style with that of Rohit, Rahane said that they both motivate the players to play their natural game. Toast of the nation after leading India to one of our best series wins in Aus. Today people are calling for his head. How is @ajinkyarahane88 dealing with it? Does he believe he has cricket left in him? How imp is Ranji Trophy? #Promo #BackstageWithBoria Show 2pm @AgeasFederal pic.twitter.com/nbbdsFiLa8 — Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) February 10, 2022 “Rohit Sharma's support was also big in that Australian series. Me and Rohit have the same method of backing each and everyone. We have ambition of letting players play their natural game and give them confidence,” Rahane told journalist Boria Majumdar on his YouTube show ‘Backstage With Boria’. Rahane’s words haven’t gone down well with a section of supporters who strongly believed these comments were an apparent dig at the former India captain. © Reuters The fans took to the micro-blogging site in large numbers and slammed Rahane for running a “clear agenda” against the Delhi-born cricketer. They argued that he never said a single word when he was the leader of the squad but as soon as he stepped he decided to go public with his rant. “Rahane has a clear agenda against Kohli, I guess. Thank you Rahane your career is almost over now,” an angry fan wrote on Twitter. © Reuters “This is ridiculous and pandering at another level. #Kohli gave #Rahane a rather long rope and was indulgent despite his repeated failings. The least he could do was to acknowledge it,” tweeted another individual. Rahane has a clear agenda against Kohli, I guess. Thank you Rahane your career is almost over now. — Pradeep #LM7 (@KLRveriyan) February 10, 2022This is ridiculous and pandering at another level. #Kohli gave #Rahane a rather long rope and was indulgent despite his repeated failings. The least he could do was to acknowledge it. — Shailesh Ghorpade (@Shaileshg21) February 10, 2022Waah is bande ne credit stealing ki baat kahi h, Abe ch*tiye wo Kohli hi tha jo back kar raha itna hagne ke baad Rahane ko...He should have been kicked out of the team a long ago. Always with you King — F.I.N.I.S.H.E.R. (@andthatsfour) February 10, 2022Dude you've been backed throughout your career. Go and play Ranji. Stop complaining. No one in india got the same number of chances as this guy and now he's talking about "backing". The audacity lol. — Arnab Kumar Chand (@chand_arnab) February 10, 2022If he needs to be in team with the kind of awesome performance he has been from past 3-4 series, he needs to talk good about @ImRo45 — Sandeep (@isandyd_23) February 10, 2022Wahi same answers. Sabko pata hai ye sab bolna aajkal fashion mein hai + Rohit ko praise karte raho so that khudki place secured rahe. Stop crying jinks, and start performing. It's high time. — Saurabh Sharma (@srbh_sh) February 10, 2022Chamchagiri hai jarrori. — Ashish Dwivedi (@AshishD93597442) February 10, 2022Some fans even joked that the reason why Rahane praised Rohit was because he knew who was going to replace Kohli as India’s next red-ball skipper. Rahane has been going through a rough patch for quite some time but still Kohli and the former team management kept showing faith in the veteran’s ability, hoping he would come good on big occasions. © Reuters India’s middle-order woes were quite evident but it was Kohli who kept on backing the Mumbai veteran, going against the public sentiment. View the full article
  6. Ajinkya Rahane's future as a Test cricketer will depend on how he goes about his business in the upcoming Ranji Trophy season. Rahane's position in the team has been under fire after the middle-order batter produced a string of low scores in the longest format of the game. Rahane was the chief architect of India's remarkable turnaround in Australia when India came back from behind to win the four-match Test series 2-1 after being outclassed in the first Test match. Rahane giving the Border Gavaskar Trophy to Natarajan, nice gesture from the captain. pic.twitter.com/mV9ynQ7Bf6 — Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 19, 2021 Rahane is not someone you would expect to go out in public and give hard-hitting comments, but in a recent chat with sports journalist Boria Majumdar, the former India Test vice-captain opened up on the historic series win Down Under that came under his captaincy. Rahane was tasked to turn India's fortunes around after India were bundled out for 36 in the first Test of the Australia series. The visitors not only had to deal with the horrors of a poor batting display, but they also had to play the remainder of the series without their regular captain, Virat Kohli, who had to go back to India to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. Toast of the nation after leading India to one of our best series wins in Aus. Today people are calling for his head. How is @ajinkyarahane88 dealing with it? Does he believe he has cricket left in him? How imp is Ranji Trophy? #Promo #BackstageWithBoria Show 2pm @AgeasFederal pic.twitter.com/nbbdsFiLa8 — Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) February 10, 2022 Rahane scored a match-winning hundred in the subsequent Test match in Melbourne and then handled his troops in a fine manner that saw India register a historic series win Down Under, despite most of their regular Test stars out due to injuries or other reasons. Rahane said whenever he hears his critics talk about his career being finished, he just smiles at his doubters. The batter recalled his contribution in Test cricket while speaking on an episode of Backstage with Boria. "I just smile when people say my career is finished, people who know the sport don't talk like that - everyone knows what happened in Australia/even before it, my contribution in red ball - people who love the sport will talk sensibly," said Rahane. "I know what I've done in Australia series and that's not my nature to go out there and take credits. Yes, there were few decisions that I had taken, but someone else took the credit. Important was for me to win the series," he further said in the interview, explaining it's the team's win that matters to him and not 'individual credits' that are being given. © Instagram Ajinkya Rahane Rahane's remark, as expected, created a stir on social media and fans started to call out Ravi Shastri and co for stealing the credit. " Simple , Genuine , Calm, Humble" Rahane for you ! https://t.co/k5JbQWmEuR — Ravinder (@maza_aa_rha_hai) February 10, 2022Shots fired on ravi Shastri ig https://t.co/3bdsW2IM6Z pic.twitter.com/7UwX0qc9rb — A. (@Justkohli) February 10, 2022Rahane fires cryptic shot about India's Test win in Australia ': Shameful @imVkohli @RaviShastriOfc https://t.co/QfadMnfnQh — | Mohit | (@Ruthless_Mohit) February 10, 2022Nothing wrong in Rahane's statements! He's definitely not credited enough for BGT achievements and Shastri's usage of words in PC(with Rahane sitting beside) might have also hurt him. He himself never boasted about those wins .. https://t.co/NzzE8w3YvR — Fanatic (@TheSandeepTweet) February 10, 2022He's referring to two things shastri mentioned It's Kohli team Pant and Gill were the first ones decided to go for the win. https://t.co/KxapSMqbkC — Sagar (@Sagarc29) February 10, 2022Apart from his individual form, the other thing that might have forced Rahane to say what he said was the fact that after the series win in Australia, all the credit was given to Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill. The former head coach Ravi Shastri too had said it was Kohli's team that won and did not applaud Rahane enough for what he did for the team in the absence of Kohli. View the full article
  7. Not everyone in Indian cricket gets a long rope despite a string of low scores like the duo of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara have been getting. We have seen the likes of legends like Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag being dropped by the selectors due to poor form but that doesn't seem to be the case with the current selectors and team management. Both Pujara and Rahane have played six innings each in the ongoing tour of South Africa and have scored 124 and 136 runs, respectively. India's lead crosses the 50-run mark! With Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease, how many runs will the visitors add in this session?#WTC23 | #ENGvIND | https://t.co/rhWT865o91 pic.twitter.com/FlZzc9x16A — ICC (@ICC) August 15, 2021 The duo, who was already under fire for not performing, had the chance to shut their critics with a match-winning knock in the third Test in Cape Town. However, the start of Day 3 of the Test saw Pujara lose his wicket on the second ball of the day and Rahane too followed suit in the very next over. The dismal batting performance of the duo saw a lot of reactions from fans on social media and most of them had only one thing to say 'enough is enough'. Thank you pujara n rahane for your services ,we will not #pujara #AjinkyaRahane #INDvsSA pic.twitter.com/qf7BkFXUu5 — Kanik Sharma (@Rubinik_1611) January 13, 2022Enough is enough. India need to move on now from #pujara #rahane — Rahul Gupta (@grahul3011) January 13, 2022It will be harsh on Shreyas and Gill if India continue to keep their faith in Pujara and Rahane for the Sri Lanka series. If the rope is still long, time to take a knife and cut it. Time to rebuild. — Venkata Krishna B (@venkatatweets) January 13, 2022Happy Retirement Ajinkya Rahane & Cheteshwar Pujara #Purane #Rahane #SAvsIND #INDvSA pic.twitter.com/NO2tuWKd3R — CRICKET VIDEOS (@AbdullahNeaz) January 13, 2022List of reasons why Ajinkya Rahane should play next test series. #INDvsSA #PURANE pic.twitter.com/wWoy2ppdht — Positive Entropy (@EntropyPositive) January 13, 2022Expectation. Reality #INDvsSA #purane pic.twitter.com/ze6zD3VYma — s. (@VkRightarmquick) January 13, 2022When Pujara/Rahane plays, every delievery seems to be ball of the century — flick_18 (@kohli_ftw) January 13, 2022This is awfully frustrating for Team India. It is like playing with 2 batsmen short. #Pujara and #Rahane have been given a very very long rope by the Selectors. Time for them to go. #INDvsSA — Sumanth Raman (@sumanthraman) January 13, 2022With captain Virat Kohli returning to the playing XI, India persisted with Rahane in the middle-order and dropped Hanuma Vihari even after the latter impressed one and all in the second Test. Rahane registered scores of nine and one in two innings of the series decider. On the other hand, Pujara after contributing with a knock of 43 in the first innings, fell for nine in the second essay. Disappointed with the result. Looking forward to the decider in cape town. pic.twitter.com/RcfZ8K4H8F — Hanuma vihari (@Hanumavihari) January 7, 2022 Apart from Vihari, there is Shreyas Iyer as well waiting in the wings for a spot in the Indian Test team's middle-order. Iyer started his Test career with a century and a half-ton in his debut game but the team went for experience in the Rainbow nation but with what we have seen on this tour, the decision backfired. Rahane and Pujara's failure with the bat left India in a spot of bother but captain Kohli and wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant steadied the ship. Drinks in Cape Town India have arrested the slide, with Pant and Kohli taking the lead past the 100-run mark amid scintillating bowling. Riveting Test cricket. Watch #SAvIND live on https://t.co/CPDKNxpgZ3 (in select regions)#WTC23 | https://t.co/Wbb1FE2mW1 pic.twitter.com/4rqOurWvh6 — ICC (@ICC) January 13, 2022 It is now down to Kohli, once again, to take India's total to a stage where their bowlers can feel confident enough of bundling out the Proteas and registering the first-ever Test series win in South Africa. View the full article
  8. Saying that Ajinkya Rahane is struggling with his form will be an understatement, considering his recent performances in Test cricket. Rahane, who was leading the side in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, had begun 2021 with an astonishing Test series win in Australia. But one year later, he not only lost the vice-captaincy tag but his place on the squad in the longest format of the game is also in question. After registering a string of low scores in the ongoing tour of South Africa, Rahane showed some signs of form with a half-century in the second innings of the second Test in Johannesburg. However, his efforts though went in vain as the hosts emerged victorious and levelled the series. Pause. Reflect. Reset. But, never stop. #GameModeOn pic.twitter.com/BcejDNMOMH — Ajinkya Rahane (@ajinkyarahane88) July 17, 2021 Rahane was once again given a chance ahead of Hanuma Vihari as a returning Virat Kohli replaced the latter in the playing XI for the Test series decider. Rahane walked out to bat with India in a tricky situation at 95 for three after winning the toss on Tuesday. Expected to use his experience and steer the visitors to a comfortable position, Rahane once again failed to deliver as he was caught behind the stumps for just nine. Rahane falls for 9! Rabada with the nagging line induces the edge, and India are now 116/4. Rishabh Pant walks in Watch #SAvIND live on https://t.co/CPDKNx77KV (in select regions)#WTC23 | https://t.co/Wbb1FEjpY1 pic.twitter.com/9a8V1npFzi — ICC (@ICC) January 11, 2022 After being given out by the on-field umpire, Rahane decided to challenge the decision. However, the replays confirm that there was a clear deflection of his bat as the ball went straight into the hands of the wicket-keeper and Rahane perished cheaply. Kagiso Rabada dismisses Ajinkya Rahane!#SAvIND#BePartOfIt #SABCcricket pic.twitter.com/uAsvBAxeEJ — SABC Sport (@SPORTATSABC) January 11, 2022 Fans were already against the call of giving Rahane an extended run despite not scoring big runs and they got another opportunity to have a go at the former vice-captain after his dubious DRS call. Hope that it's not a review on Rahane's career. — Sudhanwa Pathak MBBS (@pathaksudh) January 11, 2022Ajinkya Rahane reviews a Knick to save his career...But!!#INDvsSA #SAvIND — KKR Bhakt (@KKRSince2011) January 11, 2022Why on earth did Rahane review that clear edge? #INDvsSA — Nitin Deshpande (@nitingdeshpande) January 11, 2022And we have played him in place of Vihari.... Pls someone throw Ajinkya Rahane out yrr.. Given out... Took review.... Now both Rahane and Review are in the Pavillion!!! Pant out so early on an overcast condition... It's bad against lethal attack!!! Onto Kohli#SAvIND #INDvsSA — Kabir Tripathi (@TheCursedBoy14) January 11, 2022Rahane sir wasting a spot in the team and wasting DRS, too. — Rohan (@rohanck31) January 11, 2022Review waste mat kar Rahane — Positive Entropy (@EntropyPositive) January 11, 2022He has gone forward in time and seen that India won't need that review. As with everything Rahane does, this is based on the team's needs as well. https://t.co/wBsLK57MYa — Alagappan Vijayakumar (@IndianMourinho) January 11, 2022 After Rahane's departure, the lower-middle order failed to support Kohli, who notched up a fighting half-century and was the standout performer on the day that went in the favour of the Proteas. With wickets falling from the other end, Kohli's resistance outside the off-stump was broken by Kagiso Rabada as the India skipper looked to add some quick runs for his side. India were bundled out on the opening day of the Test match, but they will take heart from the fact that Jasprit Bumrah managed to send back previous match's MVP Dean Elgar to the pavilion before Stumps. The onus is now on the bowlers to get India back into the contest and back on track for what would be a historic series win in South Africa. View the full article
  9. The discussion around the future of the former vice-captain of the Indian Test cricket team, Ajinkya Rahane and top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara with the squad has been a hot topic of discussion for the past couple of months. The lack of consistency from the veteran batters in scoring and even the inability to hold on to their wickets for long have been crucial in their spiralling popularity among the fans. The last time Rahane smashed a century in international cricket was back in December 2020 when he led the squad to a surprising victory at the Melbourne cricket ground. Since then, the cricketer had gone 25 innings in 14 matches without scoring in triple digits and averaging 21.08 runs (before his half-century in the second inning of the second Test between India and South Africa). Both fans and some highly reputed cricket analysts such as Sunil Gavaskar and Dinesh Karthik have even contemplated whether Rahane’s time with the squad is finally over or will the team management and the coaching staff continue to give him more lives based on the recent half-ton that he scored at the Wanderers cricket ground. About four years ago, Rahane had found himself in a similar situation where a slump in his form had led to the then-head coach of the Indian cricket team, Ravi Shastri dropping him from the Playing XI ahead of their first two Test matches at Cape Town and Centurion. View this post on Instagram A younger Rohit Sharma, who wasn’t nearly as good as he is now in red-ball cricket, was given the opportunity to replace him. Sadly, other than a 47-run second inning of the second Test, even Sharma’s contributions towards the team were insignificant and he was once against replaced by Rahane ahead of the third and final Test. Back in 2018, Shastri had justified making the changes on the basis of form. “Overseas, you go on current form, you go on conditions. You see which player can adapt to certain conditions quicker than the other,” he had said in the post-match conference. View this post on Instagram In a recent interview that Shastri had done with The Indian Express, he backed his decision to drop Rahane back then and said that in all seven years of his career as the leader of Team India’s coaching staff, he had never had any sort of agenda on his mind before picking or dropping a player from the roster. Although, he did agree that the selection process of the team is the hardest thing a head coach has to go through. It only goes on to show that both Rahane and Pujara are extremely fortunate to have their spots in the team despite not being able to deliver for so long. Therefore after having scored just one half-century in such a long period of time does not give them the right to call constructive criticism “outside noise”. View this post on Instagram Sure, there are numerous instances where the Indian fanbase gets extremely toxic and players are exposed to overwhelming criticism. However, in the ongoing case of the two batters, who are supposed to be experts in just one of the three formats of the game, have been brought in front absolutely the right kind of criticism both by the fans and experts alike. Instead of deflecting it as “noise”, maybe Pujara and Rahane ought to accept it and make way for younger talent to shine. View the full article
  10. After the rather surprisingly disappointing first innings played by Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane during the second Test of the India-South Africa Test series, the two cricketers have been the talk of the town as analysts and fans believe that they might be dropped from the squad as soon as the match is over. However, former Indian all-rounder, Irfan Pathan suggests that the captain of the Indian Test cricket team, Virat Kohli’s situation is not a lot different from Rahane and Pujara and that if he continues to show bad form and get out early due to lack of patience, the outcome may not be a lot different for him as well. View this post on Instagram "We are talking about senior players here, they have played more than 60 Test matches and when you have played that amount of Test cricket for India, you need to average more than 40. And if you look at their averages in the last 3 years, it has been under 30 and that is highly disappointing," Pathan told Star Sports. On Day 1 of the Wanderers Test, Pujara took 33 deliveries to score just three runs and then get dismissed while getting completely stunned by Duanne Olivier and lofting an easy catch into the hands of Temba Bavuma. On the other hand, Rahane managed to get the first-ever golden-duck of his career in the longest format of the game. View this post on Instagram While Rahane did manage to put up some numbers during the first Test at the Centurion (48 and 20), it felt as if Pujara has been completely out of touch with the game as he got out on a golden duck in the first inning and hit 16 of 64 deliveries in the second. When it comes to Kohli, the numbers aren’t all that different. The Test skipper scored 35 and 18 in the first and second innings of Test 1, respectively and is missing from the squad for the second Test after suffering upper back spasms days before the match began. Kohli has also not hit a single century in over two years. His ton against Bangladesh during the November 2019 Pink Ball Test at Eden Gardens remains his most recent triple-digit score. ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year ICC Men's Test Cricketer of the Year ICC Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year Captain of ICC Test Team of the Year Captain of ICC Men's ODI Team of the Year Let's hear from the man himself, @imvKohli! #ICCAwards pic.twitter.com/3M2pxyC44n — ICC (@ICC) January 22, 2019 Pathan is surprised how the Men in Blue have managed to do so well in the longest format of the game despite Kohli’s seemingly ever-lasting slump in form. If India manages to win the Test series in South Africa, they would complete their quest for world dominance in Tests, including on the turf of the mighty SENA countries. "Surprising that India is still doing well despite Virat Kohli not scoring runs, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara in the same boat. They need to start performing consistently because guys are waiting in the wings," Pathan said. View the full article
  11. Indian batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane seem to be pacing towards their end as members of the Test squad based on the kind of disappointing batting performances they have been putting up for quite some time now. Former team India cricketer, wicketkeeper and batter, Dinesh Karthik has expressed his opinion on the fate of two of his former teammates and has shown concern about the newly appointed head coach of the squad making some strict and hard-hitting decisions with regards to the two red-ball veterans. View this post on Instagram While talking to Cricbuzz, Karthik explained that the BCCI, the coaching staff and the selection committee have been extremely supportive in giving opportunities to them. Despite their lack of consistency with the bat and a barrage of early dismissals, the team has stuck by them, hoping to see them rise from their ashes once again. However, it seems as if time has run out on them. “At No. 3 in inarguably the world’s best cricket team, to find a spot there for three years and not score a hundred - he (Pujara) will know he’s got a long, long rope. To a large extent they are playing because of the potential they have, and the performances they have shown, and obviously, they are senior statesmen [in the team] as well,” Karthik said. View this post on Instagram “But the long rope they have been given is slowly burning out and you are coming to the end of it. I am very, very sure that they are both aware of it. Also, we have got to see the potential of the players at the back, they have done as well. Now if Virat Kohli returns, you get a feeling that one of the two has to give way,” DK told Cricbuzz. He further said that head coach, Rahul Dravid will have to make some tough decisions regarding Pujara and Rahane’s fate with the team and that ‘The Wall’ will be willing to do that if it means bringing further stability to the team and an opportunity to make improvements even more. View this post on Instagram “When Rahul Dravid was at the fag end of his career, it was actually Pujara who came in and did well at that No. 3 spot, put pressure on him to eventually take his spot… Obviously, that circle comes around. I do think Rahul Dravid will have to make a couple of harsh decisions and if that means dropping one or both of them, he’ll be open to it because he knows that they have been given a long rope before…” “You don’t want to set the ground ablaze by making the big decisions right at the outset so I think he’s waiting and trying to assess what he can contribute to their careers and if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be,” Karthik concluded. View this post on Instagram During the first inning of the second Test match against South Africa, the team was struggling to put up a decent total for the hosts to chase. They needed their middle order to play a steady game and put up a show. Instead, Pujara took 33 deliveries to score just three runs and then get dismissed while getting completely stunned by Duanne Olivier and lofting an easy catch into the hands of Temba Bavuma. On the other hand, Rahane managed to get the first ever golden-duck of his career in the longest format of the game. View this post on Instagram While other than skipper KL Rahul and Ravichandran Ashwin's innings none of the other batters seemed to have a big impact on the Indian total, the consistency with which Pujara and Rahane have been playing has led to some of the biggest of their supporters to doubt them. Even the former captain of the Indian cricket team, Sunil Gavaskar expressed his concerns about the two cricketers and said that they might have the second inning of the ongoing match to save themselves from getting dropped and replaced by some of the younger talents desperately waiting for their turn. View the full article
  12. With regular skipper Virat Kohli missing the second Test against South Africa due to back spasm, all eyes were on two senior most members of the team Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. © Reuters Both the Test specialists are going through a horrid run at the moment and many believe their international career is hanging by a thread. In fact, many fans and experts had expected the team management to drop at least one of them on the bench going into a crucial encounter and included more deserving players like Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer. However, injury to the Indian Test skipper meant that both the veteran players were able to retain their position in the Indian batting line-up, with Vihari coming in place of injured Kohli. © Reuters They managed to get one more Test appearance under their belt but they turned sorry figures with the bat, getting out on successive deliveries from Duanne Olivier in the morning session on Day 1. The biggest worrying sign was that the deliveries that sent them packing were pretty ordinary balls and could have been easily left had they played with a little bit of caution. The Saurahstra batter struggled his way to three off 33 deliveries but foiled all his hard work by playing a reckless shot off a short-of-length delivery from Olivier which went straight to Temba Bavuma at point. © Reuters If Pujara’s dismissal was ugly, Rahane’s wicket was even more horrendous. Olivier bowled a decent delivery outside off stump but the 33-year-old batter threw his bat at it and ended up giving a simple catch to the slip cordon off the very first delivery that he faced. This was his first golden duck of his Test career. The way both the batters threw away their wickets, the fans who had already lost their patience with them started bidding farewell to them on the micro-blogging site. I think Pujara & Rahane have become Purane. — Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) January 3, 2022Totally agree. No more chances for them in this series — Jitu Mehta (@jitu70069205) January 3, 2022This should probably be their last test match. — Sandeep Panjwani (@SandeepRealTime) January 3, 2022 pic.twitter.com/vk3WSFlpkk — Pranitkumar (@Pranitk61133714) January 3, 2022Probably end of an era. Thank you Rahane and Pujara for the contribution to Indian cricket. Wish you all the best for the future. — Tejas Adake (@tejas_adake) January 3, 2022What was different this time around was that batting legend Sunil Gavskar, who had backed both the players immensely despite their low scores, was also convinced that this match could very well be the end of their international careers. Making the bold claim after Rahane’s dismissal, the ‘Little Master’ said that he wouldn't be surprised if they didn’t turn up for India ever again after this match. He also added that the only way they could save their career was if they performed in the second innings of the ongoing second Test match in Johannesburg. If not they should be ready to pack their bags. © Reuters “After those two dismissals one can say that they probably have just the next innings, both Pujara and Rahane, to save their Test careers,” Gavaskar said in the commentary box. “There have been questions asked about their place in the team and now with these two dismissals they have just one innings left. If there is another innings and the way India is going, it looks like there will be another for them to score something and maybe keep their place in the team,” said the batting legend. © Reuters Every good thing comes to an end and it seems like both these veteran cricketers have run their course and it’s time that we look at the future and give opportunities to the youngsters. View the full article
  13. Ajinkya Rahane’s inclusion in India’s starting line-up for the Boxing Day Test against South Africa raised quite a few eyebrows as people couldn’t understand why he was preferred to some of the in-form batters like Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari. Rahane wasn’t the only one who was going through a lean patch and finding it difficult to score runs on a consistent basis but hardly anyone talked about the other senior cricketer who had been equally miserable for the Indian team in the recent past. © Reuters Yes we are talking about veteran India batter Cheteshwar Pujara, who has failed to impress in the last few Test series, both home and abroad. While the whole world is focussed on showing Rahane the exit door, don’t be surprised if the management decides to retain the Mumbai batter in their line-up and leave the Saurashtra batter out going into the second Test match. In fact, Pujara would have no one but himself to blame for his precarious situation. Overlooking his recent failures, skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Rahul Dravid entrusted him with the responsibility of holding the Indian innings together but he failed in both the innings in Centurion, managing only 16 runs across two innings. © Reuters The 33-year-old batter had to face heavy criticism on social media after he failed to capitalise on the brilliant start given by two Indian openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal and got out for a golden duck. Naturally he came into the second innings, determined to right his wrong knowing that another failure could possibly bring his international career to an end. He even got a lifeline when Kagiso Rabada dropped a sitter when he was batting on four. Playing in typical Pujara-style, he crawled his way to 16 off 64 balls but couldn’t make the most of the opportunity and threw away his wicket trying to flick a ball off his pads, with Lungi Ngidi causing his downfall. © Instagram Indian Cricket Team The reason why Pujara is more likely to be dropped on the bench is because Rahane played a crucial innings in the first innings that helped the visitors post a healthy 327-run total on the board. Former India all-rounder Madan Lal also feels that more than Rahane, it’s Pujara whose spot in the side is under threat because there are in-form players who are ready to take his place in the side. “Pujara is struggling. There are no two ways about it. There are players in the squad who can push him out of the XI. At No. 3, even the captain needs a player you can hold the innings and get some runs at the same time,” Madan Lal said on Aaj Tak. So, if the management keeps the emotion aside and thinks rationally there is no way we would be seeing Pujara find a place in the Playing XI for the second Test especially with youngsters like Shreyas Iyer waiting in the line for his turn. View the full article
  14. India might have wrapped up the Test series against New Zealand with an astonishing 372-run victory but it has increased the headache for the selectors and team management going forward. CHAMPIONS This is #TeamIndia's 14th consecutive Test series win at home.#INDvNZ @Paytm pic.twitter.com/FtKIKVCzt8 — BCCI (@BCCI) December 6, 2021 In the absence of some of the first-choice players like Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, their replacements Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer grabbed the opportunities with both hands and made a strong case for their selection for the upcoming tour of South Africa. Mayank Agarwal is adjudged the Man of the Match for his brilliant show with the bat #TeamIndia | @mayankcricket | #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/YWaetCtjat — BCCI (@BCCI) December 6, 2021 While youngsters impressed with their performance, veterans like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinya Rahane failed to produce a single notable performance during the two-match series. According per the BCCI press release, Rahane missed the second Test with an injury but fans were convinced that he was dropped on the bench owing to his poor performances of late. Both the senior campaigners have been facing a lot of criticism on social media and many experts also feel that neither of them deserve a place in the starting lineup but Rahane would be the first one to get the sack. The mindset is to take Indian cricket forward and stay at the top: #TeamIndia Captain @imVkohli #INDvNZ @Paytm pic.twitter.com/NWrxTih29K — BCCI (@BCCI) December 6, 2021 When asked about his opinion on his Test deputy’s ongoing struggles, Indian skipper Virat Kohli said that it’s hard for anyone to judge a player’s form because only he can tell what’s going through his head and how he is feeling about his game. “I can’t judge his form. No one can judge it. Only the individual knows what he’s going through. We need to back them in these moments, especially when they have done well in the past. We don’t have this environment where we have our players asking ‘what happens now?’. That’s not how we do it in the side,” Kohli said during the post-match press conference. Congratulations @imVkohli. The first player with 50 international wins in each format of the game.#TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/51zC4hceku — BCCI (@BCCI) December 6, 2021 “If there is some pressure on an individual and people start creating an environment wherein everyone is asking ‘what happens next?’, we don’t entertain that as a team. We cannot expect that balance outside.” “The same people who praise certain players want them out of the team after two months. We have never reacted like that and we never will because we know the amount of effort that goes into it [playing the game]. We will support him, whether it is Ajinkya or someone else. We won’t take a decision based on the atmosphere outside,” said the Indian captain, describing Rahane as an important team player. INDIA WIN by 372 runs Scorecard - https://t.co/KYV5Z1jAEM #INDvNZ @Paytm pic.twitter.com/frGCmHknNP — BCCI (@BCCI) December 6, 2021 Kohli obviously did not answer directly but his response gave a clear indication that Rahane’s spot in the Playing XI was not under threat as of now. A large group of supporters who have long been urging the team management to get rid of the Mumbai batter started moaning after Kohli chose to defend his red-ball deputy. Just formalities, he has to say these things don't look too much into it. As captain he obviously has to show moral support atleast. — Andy. (@WeBleedBlue007) December 6, 2021Just moral support guys. (Important too) We very well know what's going to happen. (Or at least should happen) — Transponster (@MemesIcc) December 6, 2021Shit his place confirmed — Abhinav (@Abhinav0224) December 6, 2021Confirmed south africa tour for Rahane ffs — Vaee⁷ (@borntoshineXX) December 6, 2021Why sad ? He only did himself like that played failure innings in 12 matches...team dropped him gave chance to Iyer he grabbed and proved — Abhi Ram (@AbhiRamaKrishn8) December 6, 2021However, a large group of supporters also believed that the Delhi born cricketer was only giving moral support to his teammate while he was going through a difficult phase. And come the next Test match, the Mumbai batter would be dropped on the bench to accommodate either Hanuma Vihari or Shreyas Iyer. What’s going through Kohli’s mind only he can tell but as fans we only hope whatever Playing XI they pick it helps the team not the opposition. View the full article
  15. After a pulsating draw in Kanpur, the focus has now shifted to Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium as India take on New Zealand in the second Test match with the series on the line. The hosts will be boosted by the return of their talismanic skipper Virat Kohli but the biggest question is who will be dropped on the bench. While the people on social media have decided that it should be Ajnkya Rahane, the team management might give the vice-captain yet another chance. Mayank Agarwal is likely to be dropped for the second Test as Virat Kohli is returning to the side. (Source - PTI) — Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) December 1, 2021 According to a PTI report, in order to protect Rahane, the axe could fall on opener Mayank Agarwal, who failed in both the innings of Kanpur Test, managing the scores of 13 and 17 respectively. Agarwal who was India’s preferred choice for Test opener just a couple of seasons back has fallen down the pecking order, with the emergence of the likes of Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. View this post on Instagram Agarwal was India’s fourth highest run-scorer in the inaugural World Test Championship cycle but has hit a lean patch ever since, not scoring a single fifty in his last 10 Test innings. He was supposed to open the innings alongside Rohit Sharma in England but got injured at the last time and Rahul came in as his replacement and grabbed the opportunity with both hands, making the spot his own. The poor lad was not given a long rope unlike some of the senior pros Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara who, just like him, are also struggling to score runs on a consistent basis but their place in the side seems secure based on their past accolades. So Mayank will be the bakra pic.twitter.com/217oleEqae — Guru (@okguru123) November 29, 2021 Many fans are not happy with this kind of double-standard within the group, where there is no set criteria for the selection and exclusion of a player and everything lacks transparency. Some of the disappointed fans even argued that Agarwal was paying the price because he didn’t belong to the ‘Mumbai Lobby’ unlike Rahane who, despite his miserable run, seems to have more well-wishers. Why will they always drop Mayank Agarwal, after just giving 1 match ? Just coz not frm Mumbai lobby ? #INDvsNZ @doddaganesha — Vidhwan ವಿಧ್ವಾನ್ (@Vidhwan7) December 1, 2021Backing wagare kuch nahi hotta, it's just selective quota, favouritism works everywhere — poojasalve (@pooja_2012) December 1, 2021No, Mayank Agarwal you're not some generational team man, you're not going to get another opportunity in this series. Unfortunately, you're not Rahane. You've to perform every single test to prove your worth. You can't even miss a single opportunity. Now, since you're going + — Shivani Shukla (@iShivani_Shukla) December 1, 2021Well, like we all expected. Too harsh on Mayank. — Aditya Saha (@Adityakrsaha) December 1, 2021Well, like we all expected. Too harsh on Mayank. — Aditya Saha (@Adityakrsaha) December 1, 2021What's wrong with our management. Backing Rahane after consecutive failures but dropping Mayank. — Positive Entropy (@EntropyPositive) December 1, 2021It's not fair. He's injure before the eng series.. So kl played on his opening spot. This series kl injured.. Mayank opened for 1 match, now they're dropping.. — Attend (@________39965) December 1, 2021Even some of the former players like Zaheer Khan and Aakash Chopra believe that given his dream debut there is no way Shreyas Iyer can be left out of the starting XI and the only possible option is dropping an opener in the form of Agarwal. “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,” Zaheer said on Cricbuzz. “I think there is a bit more pressure on Pujara and that is not entirely performance-based. 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. “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,” he added. View this post on Instagram No doubt you want your openers to score more runs, especially in Indian conditions but the main problem for Team India is not the opening slot but the struggles of middle-order because two players who opened the innings in Kanpur are not even the first-choice openers. Imagine you visit a doctor to treat your hand but he ends up treating your leg instead. This is exactly what the Indian fans would be feeling if the Indian management indeed dropped Agarwal to accommodate Kohli and save Rahane. View this post on Instagram Normally players compete against only those who play at similar positions but now they have to outshine the whole team in order to secure their place because you never know what new logic the new management could come up with. View the full article
  16. The New Zealand tail-enders showed great resilience to eke out a remarkable draw against India on the final day of the Kanpur Test. Interestingly, the duo, Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel (2 off 23 balls), that kept the Indian bowlers at bay for nearly an hour amid deteriorating lights, were both born to Indian parents and showed great defensive technique against India’s quality spin-attack to grind out a draw for the visitors. "We did it together bro" - Rachin Ravindra and @AjazP share a special moment after play at Green Park. #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/n2968pHDsf — BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) November 29, 2021 Rachin, who was named after two of India’s batting greats Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, faced 91 deliveries for his 18 runs and it was hard to tell it was his first international Test match because he showed no nerves at all. Jadeja strikes again. Tim Southee gone! One more to go! Live - https://t.co/WRsJCUhS2d #INDvNZ @Paytm pic.twitter.com/wEscLy9SzL — BCCI (@BCCI) November 29, 2021 India picked up the penultimate wicket in the 90th over and had nearly nine overs, 52 balls to be precise, to get the final wicket but the way Kiwis fought showed why they are the reigning world test champions. Time for a korero post match at Green Park #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/Ox4t92SVbZ — BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) November 29, 2021 After the match, India’s stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane said that the team tried its best and there was nothing they could have done differently to alter the match result. However, Indian supporters don’t agree with him at all. There are questions being raised about his captaincy and people are not happy with some of the decisions that he made. Some are even saying he lacked the aggression that regular skipper Virat Kohli brings to the table and that’s what cost India the game. I blame Rahane and Dravid's defensive mentality. Could have played more aggressive yesterday and declared earlier. — Chiku (@KohliisGoat) November 29, 2021Will repeat again missed Virat Kohli's aggression.!Wicket less first session cost the match.!This draw will hurt our bowlers.!And finally Thank you Rahane.! — Deep Point (@ittzz_spidey) November 29, 2021missed him badly — Vishvam Agarwal (@_vishvam_738) November 29, 2021 pic.twitter.com/JjObksOmPy — Wajid Mohiuddin's (@mohiuddinw1) November 29, 2021India clearly missing Virat Kohli. The agression, the energy he bring. Winning test match on last day is not easy but he make it look so easy. India lost only 2 test match since Virat Kohli become captain.#INDvsNZ #ViratKohli — Arjit Gupta (@guptarjit) November 29, 2021Missing Kohli as Captain Last over agression and intend missing We could have won this #INDvsNZ — Vιsнαℓ (@Vishal__says_) November 29, 2021Yeah actually, he doesn't have the Agression Kohli has, could've declared bravely. — Cric Fan #JadejaFan (@imneev16) November 29, 2021India failed pick d 1 wicket for victory of five days effort with 8.4 overs in yesterday's taste that's shows poor captaincy form Rahane and India really missed Virat Kohli's aggression, sledging, energy... Only calmness isn't part of the cricket. @BCCI @imVkohli — Manjunath Kundapur (@ManjunathKund14) November 30, 2021Yes definitely "king kohli" was sorely missed His energy,his aggression and the passion pic.twitter.com/JXZpm5ryWR — DΣXTΣR_MΩRGΔΠ (@The_Blood_Guy2) November 29, 2021 Going into the final day, the hosts needed nine wickets to win the match but the Indian bowlers failed to provide any breakthrough in the morning session. They did bounce back in the next couple of sessions but, in the end, it proved a bit too late. Rahane might say that there was nothing he couldn’t have done differently but some of his decisions didn’t make any sense at all, with fans and experts both painting fingers. For instance, when the new red cherry was due after the 80th over, he didn’t take it immediately but made the bowlers bowl with the old ball for next four overs, which left Australian legend Shane Warne “very surprised” and eventually came back to haunt India badly. Very surprised India didn’t take the new ball when it was available !!!! Strange they are still bowling with the old ball as light and overs running out !!!!!! Thoughts ? — Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) November 29, 2021 “Very surprised India didn’t take the new ball when it was available !!!! Strange they are still bowling with the old ball as light and overs running out !!!!!! Thoughts?” Warned tweeted. Will the 4 overs bowled with the old ball when the new ball was available be a turning point and allowed NZ to hang on or it won’t matter and India win ??? — Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) November 29, 2021 “Will the 4 overs bowled with the old ball when the new ball was available be a turning point and allowed NZ to hang on or it won’t matter and India win???” read his another tweet. Happy Birthday @imVkohli . Wishing you good health and happiness for the coming year! pic.twitter.com/mg4q8VYvFN — Ajinkya Rahane (@ajinkyarahane88) November 5, 2021 Also Indian supporters felt that Rahane failed to motivate his group to work extra hard to get the result. Marshalling his troops on the final day to get the win is an art that only a few leaders are good at and Kohli is certainly one of them. First at the Lord's and then at The Oval, Kohli had proven his captaincy masterclass twice in England. Both those pitches had no demons in them yet India managed to bowl England out against all odds. © Reuters At Lord’s Indian bowlers declared with only 60 overs left but finished the match with several overs left. Similarly, at the Oval the Sun was shining brightly and batting became pretty easy but still India produced a fifth-day bowling masterclass to register a memorable victory, coming from behind. While nobody knows what the result in Kanpur would have been with Kohli at the helm, one thing is for sure that there wouldn’t have been any dearth of aggression and perhaps that’s what India lacked or maybe not. © Reuters There could be so many ifs and buts but, in the end, we can’t ignore the fact that Kiwis tail-enders produced a class act under pressure to dish out the best possible result for them. View the full article
  17. After five days of pulsating cricket, the opening Test between India and New Zealand ended in a draw. However, there are plenty of questions that the India team management needs to answer going into the series decider in Mumbai later this week. So Near Yet So Far. The first #INDvNZ Test in Kanpur ends in a draw. @Paytm #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/dGckU0uBjl — BCCI (@BCCI) November 29, 2021 Skipper Virat Kohli, who was rested from the T20I series and the first Test, would be back in the side in Mumbai and the biggest point of contention will be who is dropped on the bench. Ajinkya Rahane, who led the side in Kohli’s absence, failed with the bat in both innings and also raised a few eyebrows with his captaincy decisions. #INDvNZ @Paytm pic.twitter.com/kvXBEOq0V3 — BCCI (@BCCI) November 26, 2021 Also, with Shreyas Iyer grabbing the opportunity with both hands, becoming the only Indian to score a hundred and a fifty on Test debut, means that it would be very hard to leave him out of the starting XI. Rahane’s struggle with the willow has almost everyone convinced that he should be the one going out on the bench but head coach Rahul Dravid feels it’s too early to decide the Playing XI for the next match. Ajaz Patel gets the wicket of India captain Ajinkya Rahane The spinner dismisses him LBW for 4. #WTC23 | #INDvNZ | https://t.co/9OZPrsh0Tm pic.twitter.com/AyWkMiF65N — ICC (@ICC) November 28, 2021 Responding to a query about Mumbai batter’s lean patch, Dravid said they aren’t worried but would definitely like him to contribute more with the bat. Describing him as a “quality player”, the former India captain said that he was confident that given his experience, he can turn things around with one good knock. “I mean you don't get worried. Of course, you would like more runs from Ajinkya, he would like to score more runs,” Dravid said at the post-match press conference after the Day 5 play. “He is a quality player and he has done well for India in the past. He is one of those guys who has quality and experience and it's a matter of a game when he would like to turn it around and he knows that and we know that,” the legendary cricketer said. New Zealand survive and it's a DRAW in Kanpur. Scorecard - https://t.co/WRsJCUhS2d #INDvNZ @Paytm pic.twitter.com/TDTrEcl9ec — BCCI (@BCCI) November 29, 2021 “Look, we haven't decided what will be our playing XI and it's too early. At least, today our focus was on this game and when we go to Mumbai, we will assess the conditions and check people's fitness. Virat Kohli will join us so we have to discuss with him also and then take a decision," he side-stepped the question,” Dravid responded. Throughout his playing days, Dravid was known for backing his players and as a head coach he is no different. He wants to give Rahane a long rope but many fans and experts believe that he has already got enough chances and it’s time for him to vacate the place for others. Harbhajan Singh was a terrific bowler for India. What @ashwinravi99 has done to go past him is a phenomenal achievement: Head Coach Rahul Dravid.@Paytm #INDvNZ #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/SGh8UetSUY — BCCI (@BCCI) November 29, 2021 Former India player Dodda Ganesh lashed out at Dravid for trying to defend Rahane despite his failures match after match. Countering his fellow former Karnataka player, Ganesh opined that even a tail-ender can score a fifty in 15-20 innings which has been the case with Rahane in the last couple of years and that’s not good enough to warrant a place in the starting XI, especially when youngsters like Iyer are performing really well. Even a tail ender can get a 50 once in 15-20 innings. Enough is enough https://t.co/a75WW2qsvY — ದೊಡ್ಡ ಗಣೇಶ್ | Dodda Ganesh (@doddaganesha) November 29, 2021 “Even a tail-ender can get a 50 once in 15-20 innings. Enough is enough,” Ganesh tweeted. Iyer showed that there were no demons in the Kanpur pitch and if a player applied himself properly, scoring runs wasn’t that difficult. Rahane was looking comfortable in the first innings but he threw away his wicket by playing poor shot in the first innings while in the second innings his defensive technique was left exposed by the Kiwis spinner Ajaz Patel who trapped him right in front. A dream start to his Test career and @ShreyasIyer15 is named the Player of the Match.@Paytm #TeamIndia #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/BHbHwUz6b9 — BCCI (@BCCI) November 29, 2021 After winning Player of the Match award in his debut match, there is no way Iyer can be dropped on the bench which means one among Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara make way to accommodate skipper Kohli. Irrespective of how much Dravid wants to back Rahane, he and Kohli will have to make a tough call of dropping one of their senior players. View the full article
  18. After being dominated by the New Zealand openers on the second day of the Kanpur Test, the Indian bowlers scripted a great comeback on the following day, bowling them out from 296 runs in the first innings. However, not everything went India’s way on Day 3. Having stitched a 151-run stand for the opening wicket, the visitors were well and truly in the driver’s seat. Both their openers Tom Latham and Will Young made the batting look so easy and made the Indian bowlers toil hard for the wickets. .@ashwinravi99 gets the much needed breakthrough as Will Young is caught behind for 89. Live - https://t.co/WRsJCUhS2d #INDvNZ @Paytm pic.twitter.com/SId466G6B8 — BCCI (@BCCI) November 27, 2021 India got some respite when Ravichandran Ashwin got Young caught behind the stumps for the first breakthrough. Despite losing his opening partner, Latham kept scoring runs and inched towards his yet another Test hundred. The hosts knew the southpaw’s wicket would be crucial if they were to mount a comeback yet they gave him a lifeline by deciding against the Decision Review System (DRS) in the 73rd over of the New Zealand innings. What’s astonishing is that India had not one but two reviews left at the time but still, they didn’t go upstairs. Special: @ashwinravi99 takes centre stage to interview Mr. Fifer @akshar2026 & Super sub @KonaBharat. You don't want to miss this rendezvous with the #TeamIndia trio after Day 3 of the Kanpur Test. - By @28anand Full interview #INDvNZ @Paytm https://t.co/KAycXfmiJG pic.twitter.com/jZcAmU41Nf — BCCI (@BCCI) November 27, 2021 Ashwin bowled a loopy full-length delivery that turned just enough to beat Latham’s forward defence and crashed on his back leg while brushing the front pad along the way. The veteran off-spinner made a huge LBW appeal but it was turned down by the umpire. Given the position India were in, everyone expected them to challenge the on-field decision because at first glance it seemed a really close call but Ajinkya Rahane’s decision left everyone surprised. Latham out LBW at 66, given not out, review not taken by India. Are the matches going to get decided on the basis of a team’s judgment to take (or not to) DRS? pic.twitter.com/WzDoWrTQri — Bhupesh Juneja (@BhupeshJuneja1) November 27, 2021 The replay showed that the ball had pitched in the line, the impact was in front, and the ball would have gone on to hit the middle and off stump. Indian batting great Sunil Gavaskar felt that India “missed the trick” by not going for the DRS, adding that at most it would have been the umpire’s call and they would have retained the review. “India missed a trick. They should have gone for the review. Even if it was umpire's call, they would have retained the review,” Gavaskar said, who was on-air at the time. Rahane, who has been facing a lot of flak owing to his poor form, was heavily criticised by the Indian fans on social media, with people questioning his place in the Test team. So far NZ batters survived 3 times because of poor umpiring and poor DRS taking abilities of Rahane. Ashwin and Jadeja missed thier wickets thrice.#INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/JrQWSn5GIm — Priyesh Yadav (@Priyesh_py29) November 27, 2021Extrovert- Virat Kohli who takes DRS and Disrespects umpire decision Introvert- Ajinkya Rahane who respects umpire and doesn't take DRS pic.twitter.com/haHjGNDV95 — Star (@star_crusaderr) November 27, 2021What happened to Rahane's DRS taking ability In Aus he was excellent with DRS — ARYAN (@TheAryanBansal) November 27, 2021After saying Pant has to do better with the DRS, Ashwin be thinking Rahane has to learn from Kohli too! Go up for everything! — Sarah Waris (@swaris16) November 27, 2021Worst umpiring also DRS should be taken. Bad Captaincy Rahane — Priyanshu Bhattacharya (@im_Priyanshu_B7) November 27, 2021Why the hell Rahane did not take DRS call..pathetic decision!! #IndvsNZ #IndvNZ — Virat (@Virat0000018) November 27, 2021On one hand, we have India’s regular Test skipper Virat Kohli who goes for the DRS even if there’s half a chance of getting a wicket and on the other, we have Rahane whose overcautious mindset could have cost the team dearly. And, another one falls! Just what India needed. @akshar2026 with his third wicket as Tom Latham departs for 95. Live - https://t.co/WRsJCUhS2d #INDvNZ @Paytm pic.twitter.com/LFVJSaSng8 — BCCI (@BCCI) November 27, 2021 However, India were lucky that Latham didn’t make them pay heavily for their generosity as he got out to Axar Patel, five short of his century. The right-handed batter failed to make amends in the second innings as well and could only score four runs during his 15-ball stay. Ajaz Patel gets the wicket of India captain Ajinkya Rahane The spinner dismisses him LBW for 4. #WTC23 | #INDvNZ | https://t.co/9OZPrsh0Tm pic.twitter.com/AyWkMiF65N — ICC (@ICC) November 28, 2021 Given how Shreyas Iyer batted in the first innings and scored a brilliant hundred on his debut, many fans believe that he has done enough to retain his place in the side more than India’s stand-in skipper who has not only failed in both aspects of the game. View the full article
  19. Despite being the captain in the Kanpur Test against New Zealand, a lot of questions were raised over Ajinkya Rahane’s place in the India Test team. Before the match, the former India opener Gautam Gambhir had said that Rahane should consider himself really lucky that the selectors and the team management entrusted him with the responsibility of leading the side in regular skipperVirat Kohli’s absence, despite his shoddy batting form. © Reuters “I am going to open with Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul because he opened in England and then probably Shubman Gill will bat at No. 4. Plus, Rahane is pretty fortunate that he’s still part of this side because he’s leading. But again, he’s got another opportunity now, hopefully, he can make that count,” Gambhir had said on Star Sports ahead of the match. After being cornered from all quarters, most fans and experts hoped that it would inspire Rahane to make this opportunity count and shut down all his critics by playing a big knock in the series opener at Kanpur’s Green Park Stadium. First ball: Rahane reviews and survives Second ball: Bowled Kyle Jamieson gets another wicket again, and this time the India captain has to go! #INDvNZ — ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 25, 2021 But like always, the 33-year-old failed to convert his start into a big knock and got out playing a poor shot after scoring just 35 runs. He started his innings with great confidence and looking at his stroke play, fans started tweeting with optimism, hoping that he would convert his solid start into a big score but the manner in which threw away his wicket frustrated everyone. Don't remember the last time I saw Rahane look so assured at the start of an innings, ridiculously comfortable from the start today. — Prashanth S (@ps_it_is) November 25, 2021When there is a question mark over him, Rahane always comes with a good knock to save India and looks like it is happening today as well. — Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) November 25, 2021 If we talk about this year alone, Rahane’s average has dipped down to 19 in the longest format -- almost half of his overall career average -- which is not good enough to justify his selection in the India Test team. Not when we have several other talented youngsters knocking the door down with their performances and staking a claim in the Indian’s red-ball squad. © Twitter/BlackCaps For us fans it’s sad to see Rahane struggling like this and not living up to his potential. It seems like this constant failure has diminished his confidence to such an extent that he has become a shadow of himself. After he got out, the fans took to Twitter to express their frustration over his dismissal. The supporters who were hoping for a big knock said that they are done expecting good things from the Mumbai batter because he has forgotten how to bat and urged the BCCI to show him the exit door. Whenever we feel rahane will score big today, he gifts his wicket away!! — Yash Shah (@YashShah1231) November 25, 2021What was that atrocious shot from Rahane yaar!!!! All the batters have gotten themselves in and then gone. This is so annoying. — कुशल मेहरा (@kushal_mehra) November 25, 2021God save rahane — Theone (@12dhaval99999) November 25, 2021Rahane utne he run banata hai jitne mai next match ki position fix ho jae uski. Na zayada, Na kam. #INDVsNZ — Yaman (@Oye_lambu) November 25, 2021This is Rahane's legacy . He was looking so confident . But we all knew his wicket is just round the corner — Mradul (@gillfan_) November 25, 2021I have zero hopes from Rahane now — Saransh (@CricSaransh) November 25, 2021Getting out after good start same old stories of Rahane is continue. — करन छा़वडी (@Karan_Gurjar7) November 25, 2021Looking at his past performances, the selectors and the team management have backed him for a couple of years now but with the arrival of youngsters like Shreyas Iyer, it feels as if his time in Team India is nearing its end. With Kohli returning to the team in the next match, there is a huge possibility that Rahane could be dropped on the bench with Iyer taking his place. View the full article
  20. After a successful T20I series, the focus of Team India has now shifted to the longest format of the game. In the absence of regular Test skipper Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane has been entrusted with the responsibility of leading the side in the opening Test of the two-match series. While the selectors have shown faith in Rahane’s abilities both as a batter and a leader, some experts feel that he is “pretty fortunate” to make it to India's Test squad despite his inconsistency. © Reuters This statement came from none other than former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir who was surprised that the selectors named someone like Rahane the leader of the squad, whose place in the starting line-up wasn’t guaranteed. Amidst all this, he also wished for Rahane to make this opportunity count and dismiss all the doubts over his credentials as a world-class Test batter. “I am going to open with Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul because he opened in England and then probably Shubman Gill will bat at No. 4. That's what I would want to see and plus Rahane is pretty fortunate that he's still part of this side because he's leading... But again he's got another opportunity now, hopefully, he can make that count,” Gambhir said on Star Sports’ Game Plan show. © Reuters Gambir is not the only expert to raise questions over Rahane’s selection. His former Delhi teammate Aakash Chopra too had his doubts over Rahane’s form and his spot in the Playing XI. “You have picked Ajinkya Rahane as the captain. But the truth is also that, let's be honest, there was a question about him being selected for the last Test against England if the match had happened,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel. Rahane’s recent form has been a huge cause of concern for the Indian team but he is not the only player who is struggling for runs. Several other middle-order players, including skipper Virat Kohli himself, haven’t scored runs on a consistent basis but most people seem to ignore that, including our experts. © Reuters However, a Twitter user took it upon himself to question Gambhir and his selective criticism. Taking to the micro-blogging site, he demanded an answer from the former opener and asked why he hadn’t used such strong words to analyse the performance of someone like Kohli, who hasn’t scored an international century in the last two years. The user didn’t stop there. He even accused Gambhir of criticising Rahane because he thought he would be a “soft target”. I want someone to ask @GautamGambhir, who has reportedly mentioned "Rahane is fortunate to still be in the Test team", if he'd say the same about Virat Kohli too, who, as someone reminded me today, hasn't scored an international 100 in two years! Rahane a soft target? — Arun Gopalakrishnan (@statanalyst) November 22, 2021 “I want someone to ask @GautamGambhir, who has reportedly mentioned "Rahane is fortunate to still be in the Test team", if he'd say the same about Virat Kohli too, who, as someone reminded me today, hasn't scored an international 100 in two years! Rahane a soft target?” the user tweeted. Supporting his claim, the user even shared the recent stats of both the batters, showing that both the players were going through a similar lean patch but pundits often tend to neglect Kohli’s poor form and make everyone else the scapegoat. © Reuters The user argued that since 2019, Rahane’s Test average has hovered around close to 37 while Kohli has a slightly better average of just over 39. Both the players have scored seven fifties each in the last two years but when it comes to three-figure mark Rahane has crossed it thrice while Kohli has managed only two Test hundreds since 2019. There’s no doubt Rahane didn’t perform to his potential during the England tour, where he scored only 109 runs in seven innings, with the help of a half-century. But we must not forget that Rahane was India’s highest run-getter in the inaugural World Test Championship cycle with 1,1159 runs at an average of nearly 43. Since 2019 Rahane averages 36.74, 3 * 100s & 7 * 50s Kohli averages 39.16, 2*100s & 7*50s — Arun Gopalakrishnan (@statanalyst) November 22, 2021Melbourne Test was a lucky knock? Thank you sir for educating me. — Arun Gopalakrishnan (@statanalyst) November 22, 2021I am no bhakt - being a very neutral observer here. Just want to understand why GG didn't pick on VK's poor recent form too, and mentioned only AR's name. — Arun Gopalakrishnan (@statanalyst) November 22, 2021if Kohli was leading india after 36 all out in australia , we would have lost that series by 4-0, it was @ajinkyarahane88 who led the team from front , with all inexperienced guys and made history ! Rahane needs confidence ! that’s it ! i am sure with no kohli , he will — prashant (@pra_shan_) November 22, 2021Along with Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, Rahane has been one of the mainstays of India’s Test batting line for several years and deserves more respect for everything that he has done for the team. View the full article
  21. The Indian cricket team is in the middle of a tough situation after their main batting lineup for Test cricket completely flopped against England during the Leeds match and got wrapped up for 78 runs in the first innings. The Men in Blue would then go on to score 278 runs in the second innings off the back of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Cheteshwar Pujara’s half-centuries. However, by the end of Day 4, even their efforts would fall short of getting anywhere close to a victory and would end up with an innings defeat. View this post on Instagram When a crisis occurs, fans are bound to raise fingers at the different members of the team and the loss at the Headingley Carnegie cricket ground was no different. After the match got wrapped up a day ahead of its scheduled time, many have questioned the reason behind Ajinkya Rahane’s presence in the team despite constantly struggling to stick to the crease and scoring runs. Albeit, he did strike a half-century in the second innings of the second Test at Lord’s (after getting out for 1 run in the first innings). View this post on Instagram Most of the fans who have a problem with Rahane’s spot in the batting order were remembering India’s tour of Australia earlier this year when he became the captain of the team after Virat Kohli came back for personal reasons. Back then, Rahane had made a significant change in dropping Test opener Prithvi Shaw after having just one bad match at Adelaide when the entire Indian side was dismissed for 36 runs in the first innings. Anyone remember.?? Rahane had made all drastic change in the team after 1st test in Australia when he became captain after Kohli went for leave. Rahane removed Prithvi Shaw and Saha from the team straight away just after one match after 36 All out while this shameless guy is — Furyspeaks (@furyspeaks) August 26, 2021When shaw got out early in first match in Australia,we dropped him and what about Rahane and I am saying it since the BGT 2021. One or two good innings in a year and he always finds his place in team. — Prince Thummar (@thummar_prince) August 13, 2021Sir,his career avg was under 50 since 2016. Check these numbers.Rahane is not consistent since 2017. Managing to survive on few good innings in between. Many younger players like KL,Mayank,Vihari,Shaw,Gill have been dropped when failed in 1,2 series inspite of better numbers pic.twitter.com/7vbdOrJNBa — Sandeep Kommana (@sandeepkommana) August 30, 2021Drop Rahane, bring in Shaw or SKY.. #ENGvsIND — J (@CricketJeevi) August 28, 2021Bring in Shaw and Vihari in place of Pujara and Rahane. Rohit and Shaw open and KL plays one down. — Ruzzal Mehta (@RuzzalMehta) August 25, 2021“I was in complete tension when I was dropped after the first Test. I got a feeling like I was worthless though I was happy that the team was doing well. I said to myself ‘I need to pull up my socks,’ Shaw had said in an interview with The Indian Express. “There is a saying, ‘hard work beats talent’. I told myself all this talent is fine but it’s of no use if I don’t work hard. It was the saddest day of my life (when he was dropped). I went to my room and broke down. I felt like something wrong was happening. I needed answers quickly.” View this post on Instagram With the kind of names already available as backup batsmen in Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, and even Suryakumar Yadav, it may be difficult for Shaw to return to the Playing XI anytime soon. View the full article
  22. Ajinkya Rahane has finally decided to drop the ‘good boy’ avatar and has started addressing or responding to his critics who do not feel he belongs in the Indian Test cricket team anymore. Before the third Test between India and England in Leeds’ Headingley Carnegie cricket which begins on Wednesday, the Team India deputy-in command spoke about how he is enjoying the fact that the haters are talking about Cheteshwar Pujara and his position in the squad. View this post on Instagram "I am happy that people are talking about me. I have always believed that people talk about important people, so I am not too concerned about that. It's all about contribution for the team," Rahane said. "I always believed in contribution and that contribution was satisfying. You think about your own game but team performance is ultimate. You think about your methods, your good innings and what suits you but ultimately whatever team needs we focus on that." View this post on Instagram "The communication was all about short targets and build it on from there. Cheteshwar, we always talk that he plays slow but that innings was really important for us. He batted for 200 balls. We back each other," he said. Up until the first innings of the match, Rahane’s form looked dicey as he was unable to put runs on the board and ended up losing his wicket to England veteran James Anderson on the 23rd delivery after scoring a solitary run. View this post on Instagram However, it was the second innings in which Rahane forced the critics to eat their words when he anchored the batting order with his steady and masterful batting alongside Cheteshwar Pujara after the top order of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were dismissed for a total of 55 runs. Pujara and Rahane stitched a 100-run partnership during which the former scored 45 runs while eating up 205 deliveries while Rahane struck 61 runs in 146 balls to not only help India reach a respectable total but also spend the crucial moments of the penultimate day, which could have made the victory easier for the hosts had he gotten out sooner. View this post on Instagram "Cheteshwar and I have been playing since long, we know how to handle pressure, how to handle certain situations. Whatever we can't control, we are not thinking about that," Rahane said. View the full article
  23. Ever since India lost the World Test Championship final to New Zealand in England, a sudden and noticeable change can be seen in the way in which some of the calmer team members have been sending out messages that are a bit… uncharacteristic of them. That stare from #Siraj What a match!!! #INDvENG pic.twitter.com/JHBI8eeeeC — ThatFanBoy (@SiddhuYour) August 16, 2021 Be it Jasprit Bumrah fired up against Jos Buttler on the final day of the second Test, or Mohammed Siraj giving the death stare to all the batsmen he removed from the pitch, it seems as if Virat Kohli’s aggression is finally bleeding into his team. Joining this trend after the incredible victory at the iconic Lord’s cricket ground is the team’s red-ball vice captain, Ajinkya Rahane who shared a picture of him smiling from ear to ear while posing in a flashy jacket on Instagram and with a caption that caught people’s attention. View this post on Instagram “My reaction when the trolls get trolled,” he wrote in the caption, sharing a piece of his mind for those who doubted his capabilities as a player of the longest format of the game and were talking about getting him out of the team after a series of slumpy performances he had put out for the squad ahead of the London match. Up until the first innings of the match, Rahane’s form looked dicey as he was unable to put runs on the board and ended up losing his wicket to England veteran James Anderson on the 23rd delivery after scoring a solitary run. View this post on Instagram However, it was the second innings in which Rahane forced the critics to eat their words when he anchored the batting order with his steady and masterful batting alongside Cheteshwar Pujara after the top order of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were dismissed for a total of 55 runs. Pujara and Rahane stitched a 100-run partnership during which the former scored 45 runs while eating up 205 deliveries while Rahane struck 61 runs in 146 ball to not only help India reach a respectable total but also spend the crucial moments of the penultimate day which could have made the victory easier for the hosts had he gotten out sooner. Here’s how the fans reacted to Rahane’s rare reaction: This are some shit fans who trolled him.. respect every cricketer form is just temporary — Shivam Mishra (@shiv0769) August 17, 2021Not Finished pic.twitter.com/FFx1Q6DUVo — Umakant (@Umakant_27) August 17, 2021 pic.twitter.com/jMGJLVry5o — RKC (@Rickykc8) August 17, 2021Hope he shuts all the troll with his performance. I too criticized him but happy to see his valueable contribution in 2nd innings. — シッダールタ (@ceeeeeeed07) August 17, 2021It's good from rahane This man is really aggressive in heart pic.twitter.com/nm3dxPxOhm — raghava (@RaghavaTWeet) August 17, 20211 post toh banta hai after that amazing knock. He has surely silenced his critics. #ENGvIND — Aditya Saha (@adityakumar4800) August 17, 2021 View the full article
  24. A middle-order comprising Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane is enough to instil fear in the eyes of any opposition in world cricket. What once used to be Team India’s biggest strength has now turned into its biggest liabilities. India’s fab-trio has been struggling for quite some time now, especially since January 2000, but we never saw experts raising questions over their techniques. However, now, the similar manner in which they are getting out match after match has started to suggest they are lacking confidence © Reuters If someone had told us that Kohli would go without scoring a century for nearly two years, most of us would have fallen laughing our hearts out because back then, he was crossing three-figure marks for fun. However, his dry phase has stretched for far too long and the frailties in his technique have become a cause of concern for the whole team. Since the start of 2020, Kohli has scored only 387 runs at an average of 24.19 in 16 innings, while Pujara and Rahane have fared a little better, scoring 552 and 541 runs at just over 25. Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have a combined Test average of 25.03 since the start of 2020, with just a between them #ENGvIND — ESPN India (@ESPNIndia) August 14, 2021 A close look at the stats and you would know all three of them are going through a rough patch. However, what’s astonishing is that only two of them -- Pujara and Rahane -- are facing the brunt, while the Indian skipper is getting a 'free pass' despite riding in the same boat as them for over a year now. It's so crazy that only Rahane and Pujara needs to perform. Kohli getting free pass. Yes,he scored 42 runs but wasn't convincing enough. https://t.co/ih7uhhHtFk — Shubham (@Im_Shubham5) August 13, 2021Meanwhile, Kohli will keep getting a free pass despite being finished for two years just because he’s the “captain” and the “coach” is his butler. — Rohan (@rohanck31) August 12, 2021Kohli has scored the least number of runs for India in Tests since 2020. But he is conveniently left out of discussion when it comes to middle-order being out of form. Pujara, Kohli and Rahane are struggling. But Pujara and Rahane are the ones under pressure. — Venkata Krishna B (@venkatatweets) August 13, 2021When will Pujara and Rahane score again? AND when will Virat score a 100 again? — Sohini (@Mittermaniac) August 13, 2021Indian cricket loves Pujara and Rahane. But this blowing hot & cold is starting to hurt any advantageous position the openers provide. Add to it Virat Kohli's uncertain form. A change is coming soon. You can just see it. #EngvInd — Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) August 13, 2021Not just Pujara and Rahane, even Kohli needs some big scores under his belt. Also, like Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, Kohli among batting greats who does not have a century at Lord’s. — Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) August 12, 2021 Not just fans, even batting legend Sunil Gavaskar agrees that while all three of them have batted poorly in the last year or so, only Rahane and Pujara are facing all the heat because they are “low-profile cricketers”. The ‘Little Master’ feels that people are making them the scapegoat for India’s middle-order worries because they are easy to target. Gavaskar even reminded that Rahane was India’s top-scorer in the first innings of the World Test Championship final, when most of our batters failed but his knock has been completely forgotten. © Reuters “He was the highest run-scorer for India at the WTC final with 49. So, nobody else has scored runs in this period, to be honest, but questions have been asked only about two cricketers. They are low-profile cricketers. They are not going to rip their shirt off and create a scene (if they are dropped),” Gavaskar said on Sony Pictures Sports Network. There is no denying that all three of them are class cricketers and have been vital to India’s success in the longest format both home and away. So, instead of losing our patience we must show confidence in them and hope that they regain their touch and help the team in the coming matches View the full article
  25. The second of the five-Test series between India and England is set to start from today at London’s iconic Lord’s stadium as the two sides look to register their first wins in the series after the first Test got washed out, thanks to the unpredictable English weather. Contrary to popular belief, the Men in Blue managed to do well in the first Test behind a great start in the first innings by opener KL Rahul (84 runs in 214 balls) and Ravindra Jadeja (56 runs on 86 balls) in the middle order. View this post on Instagram On the other hand, Indian skipper Virat Kohli once again struggled to open his account on the English soil as veteran and a well-seasoned James Anderson tricked him into getting an outer edge. A simple catch into the hands of Jos Buttler and the batsman was dismissed on the very first delivery for a golden duck. Visibly an easy read for Anderson at this point, Kohli will look to make certain changes to his game. With the 39-year old put in the ‘doubtful’ category ahead of the Lord’s Test, things might get a bit easier for the skip as well. View this post on Instagram However, ahead of the second Test, Kohli has spoken in support of his deputy in-command Ajinkya Rahane, as the rumours of him getting dropped from the Playing XI surrounded him. "I do not think Rahane’s form is a concern. Our focus is not to think individually. It is about collectively how much strength they bring into the team & perform in difficult conditions, so that we are in winning positions, someone is going to put their hand up," he said in a press conference. View this post on Instagram Rahane was dismissed on an unfortunate run out after a miscommunication between Rahul and him in the first innings, as Jonny ‘Quick Trigger’ Bairstow smashed the bull’s eye and sent him back to the pavilion with a direct hit. Before the series began, former captain Sunil Gavaskar had alleged that back-end politics was being played in the Indian dressing room with the aim of dropping Rahane from the squad as their main goal. View this post on Instagram “Tell me who else has scored consistently in the last six-eight months. The real target is Rahane. Pujara’s name has been bandied about just to make sure that this whisper campaign is not thought of as if it is only directed at Rahane,” Gavaskar had said in an interview with The Times of India earlier this month. View the full article
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