Ajinkya Rahane cheaply lost his wicket in both the innings of the second Test match against New Zealand in Christchurch. The team was expecting him to deliver as per the expectations. But like his captain Virat Kohli, he couldn’t spent quality time at the crease.
Importantly, the Kiwis bowlers didn’t put too much effort to pick Rahane’s wickets. However, his poor display of batting had costed him. Tim Southee bowled an outswinger to Rahane and picked the wicket of latter in the first innings. Virat’s deputy added only seven runs in India’s tally.
Neil Wagner’s short-ball misjudged by Ajinkya Rahane:
In second innings, Rahane was given two lifelines before Neil Wagner toyed with him with his short-ball strategy.
Rahane was not well settled at the crease as he moved to the offside, thinking it would be a bouncer. But he got trapped in the strategy of Wagner and was eventually bowled. And, India’s vice-captain failed to deliver, scoring just nine runs off 43 deliveries.
And as soon as his wicket fell, a number of fans and pundits took to Twitter to express their surprise over that particular shot selection. Some as well questioned the position of Rahane as vice-captain and even urged the team management to remove him from India’s playing XI.
New Zealand vs India 2020: Here are some of the reactions –
Atrocious stroke by Rahane. Hassled by short-pitched deliveries, he had still hung in there before losing his focus. Not unravelling well for India
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 1, 2020
I've seen Courtney Walsh look more comfortable at the crease then Ajinkya Rahane in New Zealand.
— Rahul Desai (@ReelReptile) March 1, 2020
— Manya (@CSKian716) March 1, 2020
— William Dalchawal (@dosahungry) March 1, 2020
Time for rahane to make way
— B.E.ing Engineer (@brightbharath) March 1, 2020
#sportstak @vikrantgupta73 @rawatrahul9 It is a disgrace to see how Rahane handles short pitch ball. It appears even worse than India used to play in 1990-2000.He should be let away from the Indian team for any benefit to test cricket
— Swapnil Rai (@SwapnilRai93) March 1, 2020
— Ritesh Surana (@SuranaRitesh) March 1, 2020
It was not the quality of the ball but the skill of Rahane which guided the ball neetly in to his stump #NZvIND
— sunil saxena (@saxenask352) March 1, 2020
Meanwhile, Indian bowlers’ impressive performance in the second Test has been largely marred by a dismal batting show. Bumrah and Mohammed Shami took seven wickets between themselves to bowl out New Zealand for 235. But India’s batters had failed to lead from the front.
The day ended with India losing six wickets at 90 runs and Hanuman Vihari and Rishabh Pant batting in the middle, scoring 5* and 1* runs respectively.
It will be important for the duo, to set up the partnership and collect as many runs as possible – to increase the chances of India’s win, in a bid to settle for a series-levelling win.