IND v AUS 2020: Sanjay Manjrekar remains critical of Ajinkya Rahane; gives advice to Indian captain ahead of Boxing Day Test

Ajinkya Rahane will captain India in the next three Tests in Australia.
Ajinkya Rahane will captain India in the next three Tests in Australia.

Former Indian cricketer and noted expert Sanjay Manjrekar has been critical of Ajinkya Rahane after Team India’s dismal batting show in the Adelaide Test. On Monday, Manjrekar through a tweet hit out at the Indian batsman's indecisive foot movement and gave the player some advice.

Sharing the ‘basic Riyaz for defensive Test batting’, Manjrekar tweeted:

Manjrekar replied to a fan on how more maturity, consistency and responsibility is expected from someone who is a Test specialist like Ajinkya Rahane. The Indian batting collapsed for a record-low of 36 runs in the second innings of the Adelaide Test and Rahane was part of the problem.

Ajinkya Rahane’s susceptible foot-work led to his dismissals in both innings of the Test. The batsman was caught on the crease on both occasions.

On Sunday, Manjrekar expressed his frustration and expectations from his fellow Mumbaikar in his column for the Hindustan Times.

“Ajinkya Rahane has become an interesting case in Indian cricket,” Manjrekar wrote. “When people see him bat in IPL, they wonder about his form, but I have maintained that you can’t think of dropping Rahane because his recent Test record is good. In the same breath, I have also said that post-2017 Rahane has never looked like the batsman we all loved."
“He looks muddled in the mind more than anything else. The way he got out in the first innings, missing a full-length ball by a mile after being set was one of the many indications of his state of mind in the last three years," wrote Manjrekar.

Manjrekar further wrote that for someone who has played 66 Tests, Ajinkya Rahane can’t be a player who just scores enough to keep his place in the side.

“The second innings was a perfect time for Rahane to show his worth by playing a heroic innings like Virat does often and he used to pre-2017. Also, his failure in the first Test is a lesson for those who look too much into warm-up games to gauge a player's form and confidence,” Manjrekar added.

Rahane was also criticised heavily for his involvement in the run out of Virat Kohli in the first innings of the Test. Kohli’s dismissal hurt India’s batting and led to the fall at Adelaide.

Is Rahane doing enough? This is the burning question ahead of the Boxing Day Test. He has the added responsibility of leading an Indian side that is without key players Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami.

Since the Sri Lanka tour of 2017, Ajinkya Rahane has averaged just 35 in Test cricket. For almost two years, in between 2017 and 2019, Rahane averaged just over 25 and still kept his place in the side and remained the vice-captain.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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