‘Rahul Dravid will have to make harsh decisions' - Dinesh Karthik on Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane's poor form

‘Rahul Dravid will have to make harsh decisions’ – Dinesh Karthik on Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane’s poor form

Neither Cheteshwar Pujara nor Ajinkya Rahane has scored a hundred in the last 12 months.

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Despite India’s success in the longest format of the game of late, two of their Test specialists haven’t really been in the best of form. The runs seem to have dried up for Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane and thus, several experts have called for them to be dropped from India’s XI.

The second Test between South Africa and India saw these two batters get dismissed in succession. While the Saurashtra batter scored three, the Mumbai batter was dismissed for a golden duck. Thus, the Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik felt that time is running out for the two of them.

While speaking to Cricbuzz, the keeper-batter felt that either of them would have to make way for Virat Kohli in the next Test. He said that the long rope given to them is “slowly burning out”. The Tamil Nadu cricketer also pointed out the fact that India’s number three batter hasn’t scored a hundred in three years.

To a large extent, they are playing because of the potential they have: Dinesh Karthik

“At No. 3 in inarguably the world’s best cricket team, to find a spot there for three years and not score a hundred – he (Pujara) will know he’s got a long, long rope. To a large extent they are playing because of the potential they have, and the performances they have shown, and obviously, they are senior statesmen [in the team] as well. But the long rope they have been given is slowly burning out and you are coming to the end of it. I am very, very sure that they are both aware of it. Also, we have got to see the potential of the players at the back, they have done as well. Now if Virat Kohli returns, you get a feeling that one of the two has to give way,” said Dinesh Karthik.

The 36-year-old went on to say that India’s head coach Rahul Dravid wouldn’t hesitate to make bold calls on the Rahane-Pujara duo. He felt that the coach was trying to assess what he can contribute to their careers. Last but not the least, he also mentioned the fact that when Dravid was at the fag end of his career, it was the 33-year-old who did well at the number three spot.

“When Rahul Dravid was at the fag end of his career, it was actually Pujara who came in and did well at that No. 3 spot, put pressure on him to eventually take his spot… Obviously, that circle comes around. I do think Rahul Dravid will have to make a couple of harsh decisions and if that means dropping one or both of them, he’ll be open to it because he knows that they have been given a long rope before… You don’t want to set the ground ablaze by making the big decisions right at the outset so I think he’s waiting and trying to assess what he can contribute to their careers and if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be,” he said.