"He is on thin ice" - Aakash Chopra says IND vs NZ series is extremely important for Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane during the Test series in England. Pic: Getty Images
Ajinkya Rahane during the Test series in England. Pic: Getty Images

Former India batter Aakash Chopra reckons Ajinkya Rahane is “on thin ice” despite being named captain for the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur. Chopra pointed out that Rahane’s inconsistency has plagued him throughout his Test career.

33-year-old Rahane will be leading Team India in the Kanpur Test since Virat Kohli has been rested. Kohli will return to captain the team in the second Test in Mumbai.

Speaking about the importance of the New Zealand series for Rahane, Chopra said on his YouTube channel that, while the middle-order batter is a good leader, he needs to make significant contributions with the bat. Chopra stated:

“It is an important series for him. He is the captain (for the first Test) but, according to me, he is on thin ice. There is no doubt that he is a good captain. He was the leader when India won in Australia and he also scored a hundred in Melbourne. However, after that, his numbers have slid. There has been the odd good performance here and there, but he has not had that big series. That has been the pattern of his entire career.”
📸 📸 When #TeamIndia hit the ground running in Kanpur ahead of the 1st #INDvNZ Test. @Paytm

Chopra added that Rahane has played more than 70 Tests, but he is yet to have a big series behind him, which is a worrying aspect. He elaborated:

“Ever after 70-odd Tests, his place in the team is under the scanner despite him being the vice-captain. The main problem with him is his consistency. Even in the Australia series, apart from the the hundred, there was no meaningful score. In the home series against England as well, he had one good score. The story was the same when India went to England as he got that one fifty at Lord’s. He hasn’t scored 500 runs in a Test series yet, which should have happened by now.”

Rahane had a torrid time in England earlier this year. He scored only 109 runs in seven innings at a poor average of 15.57.

“He is just one innings away” - Cheteshwar Pujara backs Ajinkya Rahane to come good

💬 💬 "We are looking forward for Rahul Dravid's guidance." @cheteshwar1 on #TeamIndia working under the Head Coach Rahul Dravid. 👍 👍#INDvNZ @Paytm

Experienced Team India batter Cheteshwar Pujara has thrown his weight behind Rahane to come good soon with the bat. According to Pujara, Rahane is one innings away from finding form.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the first Test, the India no.3 said:

“He is a great player. There are times where a player goes through a tough time. That’s part of this game. There will be ups and downs. But I feel he is a confident player, he is someone who works hard on his game. I am very sure that he is just one innings away. Once he gets a big score or a big hundred, he will be back in form.”

Since the start of 2020, Rahane has scored 644 runs in 15 Tests at an average of 24.76.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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