Surprising that India is still doing well despite Kohli, Rahane, and Pujara not scoring runs: Irfan Pathan
India made 202 runs on the first day of the Johannesburg Test.
Updated - Jan 4, 2022 1:09 pm
India and South Africa are currently playing the second Test of the three-match series in Johannesburg. Virat Kohli is not playing this Test due to a back spasm hence, KL Rahul is captaining the side. Rahul won the toss and elected to bat.
The Indian batting lineup recited the same old story and India made 202 runs in the first innings. Only Rahul and Ravichandran Ashwin were able to score decently. Rahul made 50 runs before getting dismissed off of the bowling of Marco Jensen and Ashwin contributed 46 runs to India’s total.
Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujra, who are considered as two pillars of the Indian batting line-up failed to contribute in the first innings. Pujara made three runs while Rahane was dismissed for a golden duck. During an interaction with Star Sports, former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan mentioned that Rahane and Pujara’s performance was disappointing, and being the senior players in the squad they should have played cautiously.
“These two, we are talking about senior players here, they have played more than 60 Test matches and when you have played that amount of Test cricket for India, you need to average more than 40. And if you look at their averages in the last 3 years, it has been under 30 and that is highly disappointing,” Irfan Pathan said.
“Ajinkya Rahane showed a lot of intent with the way he played in the first innings. His footwork was decisive and he looked positive. But here (in Johannesburg), both of them were disappointing,” he added.
Guys are waiting in the wings to fill in the shoes of Pujara and Rahane: Irfan Pathan
The Indian middle-order has struggled in the past few years. The trio of Kohli, Pujara, and Rahane have failed to score runs consistently. Though, the Indian team has managed to perform really well in the past couple of years only because of the contributions from the openers and the lower middle-order. Pathan was surprised with the fact that India has done so very well despite the middle-order failing to bring anything to the table.
“Surprising that India is still doing well despite Virat Kohli not scoring runs, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara in the same boat,” Pathan said.
Pathan also added that Rahane and Pujara should look to score runs as people are waiting to replace them. One of them is Shreyas Iyer who scored a century on debut against New Zealand.
“They need to start performing consistently because guys are waiting in the wings,” Pathan said.
“You could say that (time running out for Rahane and Pujara) because a guy who scored a hundred (on his debut) is waiting. He is not playing this game because of a stomach bug but apart from that, he would be saying in his head that ‘look I am ready’. That is why Pujara and Rahane need to score runs. If they don’t do that, surely, time will be running out,” he concluded.