‘You cannot change your views on senior players after every Test’ – Ashish Nehra on Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane’s struggling form
Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara average in the 20s since 2021.
Updated - Jan 13, 2022 8:20 pm
Former Indian seamer Ashish Nehra was quite realistic about Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara’s dismissals as they got some brilliant deliveries to continue their miserable run of form. The Newlands pitch has had a lot of extra bounce and the movement off the pitch has troubled every batter so far in the Test. However, both Pujara and Rahane have not been able to play those big knocks for a while now and the management might be tempted to replace them.
Both the batters have made just one fifty so far in the series while averaging around 20s in the six innings. Their inconsistency has been a major issue and their experience still has been backed while leaving out the impressive Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer. Vihari has good technique in away conditions and could be a reliable option in the middle order while Iyer made a debut century against New Zealand recently.
I wouldn’t look too much into today’s dismissals: Ashish Nehra
Nehra felt sad for Pujara(9) and Rahane(1) as they couldn’t have done much with the deliveries they had faced. The former Indian seamer noted their better performances and the tough runs they have scored in crucial moments for India over the years. He also admitted that both the batters should have been consistent.
“The way Pujara and Rahane got out today, anybody could have got out in that manner, even Virat Kohli. So I wouldn’t look too much into today’s dismissals. You cannot change your views on senior players after every Test. Rahane has scored a good half-century (in this series). I agree he should have scored more consistently. But the pitches India have played on in the last two years have been rather tough, and conditions in South Africa are not easy either for batters.” Nehra told in a Cricbuzz chat during the lunch session
Nehra also felt that the situation is not easy for the management as they do not have the backups ready at the moment. He also was sure that Iyer and Vihari should also be given a long rope if they have to succeed.
“It is not an easy puzzle for the team management to solve. Pujara has played some stellar knocks, Rahane made that hundred at the MCG. So they deserve that extra chance. Also, do India have ready-made replacements? No. “India will need to plan and create back-ups slowly. If Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari come in, they will also need to be given a long run. The management has to be prepared for it.” Nehra added