'He is a liability now' - Twitter reacts as Ajinkya Rahane fails to deliver yet again

‘He is a liability now’ – Twitter reacts as Ajinkya Rahane fails to deliver yet again

Rahane has averaged a poor 20.69 in 14 innings in 2021, including his 23-ball 1 at Lord’s in the second Test.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

“I do not think Ajinkya Rahane’s form is an area of concern. Our basic focus is not to think about where are people individually at the moment, collectively how much strength they bring into the team is our focus,” is what Indian skipper Virat Kohli had to say when asked about Rahane’s recent low-key performances during a pre-match virtual press conference on the eve of the Lord’s encounter.

A veteran of 75 Tests, there is little to doubt Rahane’s calibre as a Test player. But for someone who is a part of a start-studded middle-order troika comprising the likes of Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara (who have their own issues in the recent past, by the way), Rahane has done too little to live up to that billing. At Lord’s, where India were put into ascendancy after a stellar 129 from KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma’s 83, Rahane had the perfect platform to get back amongst the runs.

Ajinkya Rahane’s quiet 2021

All he managed, though, was a solitary run from 23 balls, before he needlessly poked at a James Anderson outswinger to give England skipper Joe Root a low catch at the first slip. In hindsight, it was a delivery that an in-form batsman would have easily left. But form is precisely what has eluded Rahane: he has averaged a poor 20.69 in 14 innings in 2021, including his 23-ball 1 at Lord’s in the second Test.

More than the dry spell of runs, it is Rahane’s mode of dismissals that have become a concern. He ran himself out at Trent Bridge for five, looking increasingly nervous with each passing delivery.

In the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, where he top-scored with 49 in the Indian first innings, he fell into Neil Wagner’s leg-side trap, finding Tom Latham at square leg, realizing immediately that he made an erroneous choice of shot as he had a reserved follow-through of the bat, but it was too late by then. In the second innings, he faintly edged an innocuous Trent Boult delivery that was going down the leg-side. BJ Watling grabbed the easiest of chances behind, sending him back for 15.

Even as skipper Kohli showed confidence in his deputy, another ignorable show with the bat meant that the Twitterati could not hold back.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: