Why Ajinkya Rahane should be dropped from the Test squad
The expectation was sky-high when the Indian team started the England tour. Virat Kohli's men had a bright start of the tour and they won the T20I series. Subsequently, the performance of Team India was substandard. India lost the ODI series as well as the Test series.
Meanwhile, the positive side of Test series was India's magnificent bowling performance. India's bowlers were exceptional in all five matches and the fast bowlers did a commendable job in all five matches. Bowlers like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah did immensely well in the Test series and they took advantage of the pace bowling friendly English pitches. Though Bumrah only played the last three Test matches, his inclusion strengthened the Indian bowling unit.
The primary reason for India's disappointing England tour was the batting performance. Other than skipper Virat Kohli, no batsman managed to score runs consistently. In fact, there were several players in the squad who played in the English conditions before, but they did not do well despite having previous experience. Batsmen like Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara were in the Test squad when India visited England in 2014.
Indian middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane was one player who was quite awful in the Test series against England. Being the vice-captain of the team, he has a gigantic responsibility on his shoulder to lead the team. But he did not play any noteworthy big knocks in the series. As a matter fact, he scored only two half-centuries in the Test series and he failed to score a century in the five Test matches.
Rahane scored a total of 257 runs in five matches and the batting performance was quite ordinary from an important middle order batsman of the Indian Test team. Rahane is known to be a good performer in the overseas Test matches, but he has not been impressive in last one year.
Presently, he cannot be rated as a top-notch batsman to rely on the overseas conditions. As a matter of fact, his overseas batting average was 55 until last year, but it has dropped significantly after his substandard batting performance in the overseas Tests.
Additionally, Rahane's performance was not impressive in the home Test matches last year that helped India to achieve the number one ranking in the Test Cricket. He had a miserable start of the home series and he scored only 17 runs in the first 5 innings. Eventually, he was dropped from the first two Test matches in South Africa earlier this year.
Rahane has played 50 Test matches for India and he has scored 3150 runs at an average of 41. As a matter of fact, his career batting average was 44 last year but the lack of big knocks is responsible for the drop in his batting average.
Currently, there are several talented Indian batsmen who have been scoring plenty of runs in the domestic Cricket. The selectors should search for a reliable and consistent batsman in the Indian middle order. Players like Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill can be tested in the upcoming Test series.