'Need to accept these challenges and take them head-on' - Zaheer Khan reckons Ajinkya Rahane is under pressure ahead of South Africa Tests

‘Need to accept these challenges and take them head-on’ – Zaheer Khan reckons Ajinkya Rahane is under pressure ahead of South Africa Tests

India and South Africa are all set to lock horns with each other for three Test matches and as many ODIs starting from December 26.

Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India and South Africa are all set to lock horns with each other for three Test matches and as many ODIs. Ahead of the much-anticipated series, Zaheer Khan has reckoned that India’s batter Ajinkya Rahane is under pressure. The batter has had a rough patch in his career lately.

He hasn’t been able to fetch in big performances and has scored  411 runs in 12 Tests this year at an average of 19.57. His consistency and average have been a factor of concern for team India. In the recent series against New Zealand at home, Shreyas Iyer had impressed everyone with his knocks. Thus there have been discussions that he might replace Rahane in the setup for the South Africa Tests.

As Rohit Sharma will miss the series owing to an injury, KL Rahul has been appointed as Virat Kohli’s deputy. Zaheer thus said that Rahane will have to exude mental toughness to go through this phase of his career.

The former speedster also said that the batter needs to believe that he is just one good inning away from getting back his rhythm. He also added that as a cricketer one needs to accept the challenges and take them head-on.

As a cricketer, you need to accept these challenges and take them head-on: Zaheer Khan

“There have been mixed performances for Ajinkya Rahane. There is no doubt about it. He is under immense pressure. That is the fact. For any cricketer, to go through this kind of phase, you’ve got to have that mental toughness to come out of it. The good part is that you are still there and you are one inning away. As a batsman or cricketer, you should have such a belief.

Through my personal experience, if someone is going through a rough patch, you’ve got to have that belief that you are just one inning or one good knock away from that good performance. If you hit that, things change very fast as well. This is what I would advise Ajinkya at this stage. As a cricketer, you need to accept these challenges and take them head-on,” Zaheer Khan said while speaking to the Times of India in an interview.