VVS Laxman : There Was No Conviction With Ajinkya Rahane's Pull Shot In WTC Final
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
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There Was No Conviction With Ajinkya Rahane’s Pull Shot In WTC Final, Says VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman praised New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson’s captaincy while also highlighted India’s middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane’s mistakes. VVS Laxman further recalled a piece of advice from former legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar to explain one area where Ajinkya Rahane needs to improve upon.

Ajinkya Rahane’s dismissal for 49 on Day 3 of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton became a topic of discussion on Sunday. Kane Williamson’s genius captaincy came to the fore in the set-up of Ajinkya Rahane’s dismissal, with the New Zealand skipper setting up the trap for the India batsman after a discussion with Kiwi speedster Neil Wagner.

India's Ajinkya Rahane walks off the field after being dismissed by New Zealand's Neil Wagner(AP)
India’s Ajinkya Rahane walks off the field after being dismissed by New Zealand’s Neil Wagner(AP)

VVS Laxman On Ajinkya Rahane’s Pull Shot Off Neil Wagner In WTC Final

Ajinkya Rahane is known to be a compulsive hooker of the ball. He never shies away from playing the short ball whenever the ball is pitched short, which at times brings about his downfall as it did on Sunday in the WTC final. It was a perfect execution of the field set-up by Kane Williamson and perfect execution of a short one from Neil Wagner that sent back Ajinkya Rahane for 49.

Speaking on Star Sports during Lunch, former India cricketer VVS Laxman praised Kane Williamson’s captaincy while also highlighted Ajinkya Rahane’s mistakes.

“I am always impressed with Kane Williamson’s captaincy. I thought that Ajinkya Rahane was getting his eye in, he was batting much better, he looked more assured on the crease as compared to yesterday. But this is something that has become a pattern with Ajinkya Rahane’s batting. It was the same game plan that New Zealand used against him in Christchurch. This is something he requires to understand,” Laxman said.

VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman

“You talked about the planning between Neil Wagner and Kane Williamson. There was no fielder there on the fifth delivery, the one before he got out. And then a fielder was placed there and also near the backward short-leg.

“It forced Ajinkya Rahane to play half-hearted pull short. There was no conviction in that pull short and this would be something Ajinkya Rahane will be disappointed with,” Laxman added.

Ajinkya Rahane had done all the hard work in the first hour of the morning session on the third day and just when he was looking set for a big one, the right-hander played a half-cock pull shot to a Neil Wagner bouncer-short of a good length delivery and provided a simple catch to Tom Latham at square-leg. Ajinkya Rahane fell one run short of his 24th Test fifty.

VVS Laxman: Sachin Tendulkar Advised To Know Where Off Stump Is And How To Leave Or Defend The Bouncers

VVS Laxman further recalled a piece of advice from former legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar to explain one area where Ajinkya Rahane needs to improve upon.

“I remember when I started my cricketing career, the great Sachin Tendulkar advised me that there are two areas that you have to be comfortable if you have to be successful. Number One is you know where your off stump is, you know how to play the ball when it is pitched in the corridor of uncertainty. And you also should know how to leave or defend the bouncers,” Laxman further said.

Sachin Tendulkar Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar
Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

“Because if the opposition comes to know that you are a compulsive pull shot or hook shot player, they will bowl a barrage of bouncers at you and have the field set to make you play that shot. And it is always going to be a low percentage shot,” he signed off.

India was bowled out for 217 with Kiwi pacer Kyle Jamieson picking a five-wicket haul in the match. New Zealand then lost 2 wickets before stumps on Day 3 and ended with 101/2 with opener Tom Latham and half centurion Devon Conway back in the pavilion.

Brief Scores: India 217 all out (Ajinkya Rahane 49, Virat Kohli 44, Kyle Jamieson 5-31); New Zealand 101/2 (Devon Conway 54, Kane Williamson 12*, Ishant Sharma 1-19).