“They are not small children for someone to come and pat on their back” - Salman Butt reacts to Rahane, Pujara's failures in 1st India vs New Zealand Test

Cheteshwar Pujara (left) and Ajinkya Rahane. Pic: Getty Images
Cheteshwar Pujara (left) and Ajinkya Rahane. Pic: Getty Images

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has urged struggling Team India batters Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara to fall back on their experience to come out of the rut they find themselves in.

Rahane and Pujara, who have been short of runs for an extended period, experienced failures in the Kanpur Test against New Zealand as well. Rahane, captaining the Indian team in Virat Kohli’s absence, scored 35 and 4. Pujara was dismissed for 26 and 22.

Butt agreed that time is running out rather quickly for both the veteran Indian batters and the emergence of youngsters like Shreyas Iyer will only make life tougher for the duo.

Sharing his advice for Rahane and Pujara, Butt said on his YouTube channel:

“Rahane and Pujara need to apply what they have. What are they waiting for? With this amount of experience, one needs to deal with their problems on their own. They are not small children for someone to come and pat on their back. That time has passed for them. Now is the time to take the bull by the horns.”
So Near Yet So Far. The first #INDvNZ Test in Kanpur ends in a draw. @Paytm #TeamIndia

Speaking specifically about Rahane, Butt added that he at least needs to try something different. Anyways, he is failing with his current methods. The 37-year-old said about India’s stand-in captain in Kanpur:

“You have seen enough ups and downs. Remember how you returned to form earlier. Don’t forget you are the captain (for Kanpur Test). A leader needs to charge others. If he himself is constantly searching for form, then things won’t work. Even if he is losing his battle within, he needs to come up and try something and go down fighting.”

Rahane hasn’t scored a hundred since the Boxing Test against Australia last year and his Test average has slipped under 40.

“Ashwin can be a very good choice” - Salman Butt on off-spinner as Test vice-captain

Drawing inspiration 👌Achieving milestones 🔝Revealing some cricketing stories 👍@ShreyasIyer15 turns anchor as he interviews milestone man @ashwinravi99 post the first #INDvNZ Test.👌👌 - By @28anand Full interview 📽️👇 #TeamIndia @Paytm

In the wake of Rahane’s struggles, India might soon have to look for another vice-captain in the Test format. Asked if Ravichandran Ashwin is a good choice, Butt nodded in agreement. He asserted:

“Yes, Ashwin can be a very good choice. He is tactically good and has game awareness as well. Whenever I have heard him speak, he sounds very different and logical. He could be a great help (to Kohli in Tests).”

On Monday, Ashwin became the third-leading wicket-taker for India in Tests, going past Harbhajan Singh’s tally of 417 scalps.

Edited by Samya Majumdar

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