Pragyan Ojha has expressed his surprise at Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane’s inconsistent displays with the bat. Ajinkya Rahane scored a solitary run across the two innings in the first Test against England in Chennai.
The Indian vice-captain hasn’t breached the half-century mark in his last seven Test innings after scoring 112 runs in the 2nd Melbourne Test win in Australia.
Pragyan Ojha: After Ajinkya Rahane Scored A Ton In Melbourne, He Is Finding His Form Which Is Surprising
While answering fan questions on Sports Today, Pragyan Ojha was asked about the reason behind Ajinkya Rahane’s inconsistency. The former Indian spinner responded that he cannot find the reason and logic behind the Mumbaikar’s inability to string together a run of good scores in the longest format.
“That is something which really surprises me. I have played a lot of cricket with him, right from our younger days. Someone of his stature gets a brilliant hundred at the MCG and after that, it looks as if he is finding his form. It is something that even I was taken aback,” said Pragyan Ojha.
Pragyan Ojha hopes Ajinkya Rahane must address the issue at the earliest as the Indian team requires greater consistency from him.
“I believe he needs to sort this out because a man of his stature who has done so much for the country, the vice-captain of the Indian team, he has to be consistent. When he plays, it looks like he is a brilliant batsman but at times when he starts getting out, then you feel like he is out of form. So, this is something he needs to address,” added the 34-year-old.
The 32-year-old middle-order batsman flopped against New Zealand where he averaged only 22.75 in 2 Tests and apart from his 112, he couldn’t score another half-century in other matches.
His inconsistency is portrayed by the fact that he failed in the 2018 England series overseas averaging 25.7 and in the Sri Lanka series in 2017 where he averaged only 3.4 in 3 Tests. But he did well in West Indies in 2019 averaging 90.33 and the South Africa series in 2019 averaging 72.
Pragyan Ojha: Nobody Criticising Ajinkya Rahane’s Position
Pragyan Ojha was further asked for his views if Ajinkya Rahane is being unfairly criticized as he is currently the leading run-scorer for India in the ICC World Test Championship. He responded that the 32-year-old’s place in the Indian team is not being questioned.
“Nobody is criticising his position in the team or questioning him being the vice-captain or what he has done. But everybody is surprised, the whole Indian team was unsettled after the loss at Adelaide and he goes to MCG as a captain and plays a brilliant knock,” said Pargyan Ojha.
Pragyan Ojha also spoke about Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara’s defensive batting approach in India’s first innings of the Sydney Test. He believes the duo’s timid approach probably put India at a disadvantage in that match as India drew the Test despite Rishabh Pant’s counter-attacking 97 in 2nd innings.
“He is absolutely someone the Indian team needs, him and Pujara. I will just extend my conversation to Pujara. When India was playing in Sydney, on the Day 2 evening, we played that session very slow. The next morning when we came into bat, the Australians had a plan and they got us out.
“Had we used those overs, we could have got those runs because when the new ball comes in, we were losing those wickets. That was my criticism, I never doubted Pujara or Rahane, they are the pillars of our batting,” concluded Pragyan Ojha.
Ajinkya Rahane is one of those rare players whose home average (37.35) is inferior to his overseas average (44.44). He has a dismal home record against England, having scored 64 runs in four matches at an average of just 9.14. The stylish batsman would like to set the record straight in the upcoming matches and help India qualify for the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship.