Ian Chappell names three players to take Ajinkya Rahane’s no. 5 position, suggests new vice-captain

Ian Chappell names three players to take Ajinkya Rahane’s no. 5 position, suggests new vice-captain

In 11 Test matches this year, Ajinkya Rahane has scored just 372 runs.

Ian Chappell and Ajinkya Rahane
Ian Chappell and Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has been short of runs lately and the same has earned him criticism from different parts. In the recently concluded Test series against England, the veteran batter accumulated just 109 runs in seven games with his average being just over 15. In fact, scoring consistently has been a concern for Rahane for a while. Hence, many fans and experts believe the right-handed batsman should make way for someone else.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is also of the same opinion. In fact, Chappell also named three potential candidates who can take Rahane’s number five position in Test matches. Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, and all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya have received backing from the Australian legend. With these three players contributing in multiple departments, Chappell believes their presence in the top five can provide the team more balance.

“A middle-order that reads Jadeja, Rishabh Pant, Pandya, and Ashwin should provide the runs expected of that section. With three fast bowlers to follow, the batting is then supported by a versatile attack. That’s the advantage of having a strong, well-balanced attack – you don’t need huge scores to chase victory,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.

“The simplest equation for winning Test matches is for the batters to score quickly in order to give the bowlers enough time to take 20 wickets. The other good point about that middle order is that it’s interchangeable. Skill-wise, Pant is the best batter of that lot. He’s capable of restraint when the situation demands, so he could easily handle No. 5, especially when India bat first,” he added.

Rohit Sharma can replace Ajinkya Rahane as India’s Test vice-captain: Ajinkya Rahane

It has to be noted that Ajinkya Rahane is also the vice-captain of the Test team. Hence, Virat Kohli will need a new deputy if the team management decides to think beyond Rahane. Speaking of the same, Chappell believes veteran opener Rohit Sharma can assume the position. Notably, Sharma is already the vice-captain of India’s limited-overs team. Hence, Chappell backed him to take the responsibility in the longest format as well.

“The only downside would be the loss of Ajinkya Rahane’s tactical input and his slip fielding to the spinners. Nevertheless, Rohit Sharma is now an acclaimed captain and he’s capable of handling the vice-captaincy role,” he asserted.