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Sunil Gavasakar criticises decision to promote Ajinkya Rahane to No 3 spot

The batting legend feels that the move to send Rahane in at No 3 was like "sacrificing a good man" and opined that he should bat at the No 4 spot with skipper Virat Kohli coming in ahead of the Mumbai cricketer.

Ajinkya Rahane Sri Lanka India
Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed for just four runs after coming in to bat at the No 3 position on Day 1 of the 2nd Test

Sunil Gavaskar has criticised the move to send in Ajinkya Rahane at the No 3 spot on the opening day of the second Test against Sri Lanka, NDTV reports. The batting legend feels that Rahane’s unselfishness was being exploited by the Indian team management and that he ended up being a scapegoat. 

The experiment backfired miserably as Rahane was dismissed for just four runs being caught in the slips playing a loose shot away from the body to an outswinging delivery by Dhammika Prasad. Gavaskar though refused to blame Rahane for the manner of his dismissal and raised questions about the logic behind the move. 

Rahane is one of India’s most consistent players in the Indian middle order and has scored the bulk of his runs in the longer format at the No 5 spot and Gavaskar was clearly unimpressed by the decision to move him up the order.

“He has been pushed at No. 3 even though he had success batting at No. 5," Gavaskar said. “He is one of those nice guys who can be shoved around. It (Rahane batting at No. 3) was sacrificing a good man, a man who will take everything that the team dishes out at him.”

Gavaskar compares Rahane to Rahul Dravid 

Though Gavaskar does not support the move in the long run, he is confident that Rahane will be a success at the No 3 spot. Rahane’s highest first class score of 265* for Mumbai against Hyderabad incidentally came while batting at the No 3 spot. 

Gavaskar praised Rahane’s attitude comparing him to Rahul Dravid, by far India’s best No 3 Test batsman with over 10,000 runs at the crucial position.

“But he will do the job at No. 3 because he is from the Rahul Dravid school of cricket -- he will do everything the team asks of him, just the way Dravid did. He is Rahane's mentor,” Gavaskar said. 

Gavaskar has his say on India’s batting order

Gavaskar is in no doubt as to how the Indian batsmen have to line-up in Tests. 

"If Kohli can push himself to No. 3, the line-up sorts itself out. Rahane at 4 and Rohit at 5 is perfect,” he said before praising Rohit Sharma for his knock yesterday. “Rohit did not get a hundred, but it was a career-defining knock for him. A lower number is better for Rohit."

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