No question of dropping Rahane from the Test team, says Anil Kumble
Rahane hasn't been in the best of form, but clearly has the team management's backing going into the second Test against Australia.
What’s the story?
The hue and cry over Karun Nair’s non-inclusion in the Test team, despite a record-breaking triple ton in his last appearance, might have tempted fans to question Ajinkya Rahane’s place in the side, but India’s head coach Anil Kumble made it clear that there was no question of dropping the 28-year-old from the side.
“There is no question of dropping Rahane. He has scored really well, and has been extremely successful over the last couple of years. The team composition hasn’t been discussed yet and all 16 are still available for selection”, Kumble said during a press conference on the eve of the second Test at Bengaluru.
In case you didn’t know…
After scoring an unbeaten 303, only the third triple century by an Indian in Tests, Karun Nair, who was roped in as a replacement for the then-injured Ajinkya Rahane, had to walk out of the team after the latter came was back to full fitness.
Rahane, who holds a better batting record away from home, hasn’t been in the best of form this home season. After his 188 against New Zealand at Indore in October last year, he has managed just one fifty-plus score in ten international innings.
The heart of the matter
Kumble has made it clear that it has been unfortunate for Nair to be left out of the team despite doing the best that he could, but also stated that it is the beauty of the group that whoever has come in has done well.
He clearly stated that Nair had been inducted in the team as a replacement for Rahane, and had to make way once he was back. Having said that, he described Nair as a “class-act”, praising the batsman for showing what he is capable of in the short international opportunities that he has got.
With Kumble making his stance about Rahane’s spot in the team fairly clear, Nair will have to wait further for his chance to be back in the Test whites, unless the team management decides to play an extra batsman to solve the confounding batting problem in the Pune Test.
Having done whatever he could have, and more, from the one opportunity he got, Nair would consider himself really unlucky to still be warming the benches. Yet, given that the team composition hasn’t demanded the inclusion of another batsman, it will be unfair to sideline vice-captain Rahane from the Test team, for the 28-year old has proved time and again why he is such a dependable batsman.
With the knowledge that he’ll be the first batsman to be included if there’s a vacancy, Nair should continue to strive and improve himself till he gets into the first team.