Brad Hogg, a former Australian spinner is against the idea of India potentially replacing Ajinkya Rahane in the middle-order. There have been talks surrounding Ajinkya Rahane’s poor form as of late, with either one of Suryakumar Yadav or Hanuma Vihari taking up his spot.
Ajinkya Rahane has struggled with inconsistency over a large portion of his career, and the recent string of low scores has left him with more concern. His current form mirrors the state of the Indian middle-order at the moment, as runs have been hard to come by. Over the course of three Tests so far, Ajinkya Rahane has compiled a solitary fifty in the second innings of the Lord’s Test.
Brad Hogg: India Needs Experience Of Ajinkya Rahane As Move To Axe Him Would Be Career Changing
Brad Hogg notes how drastic a potential change would be since, if brought in, Suryakumar Yadav will have to be given enough opportunities as well, which leaves Ajinkya Rahane out in the cold.
While speaking on his YouTube channel, Brad Hogg said: “There is a big thought and I’m thinking it as well to bring Surykumar Yadav in at number 5 in place of Ajinkya Rahane, but once you do that, Ajinkya Rahane is out for good, it is a career-changing move and you’ve got to give Suryakumar Yadav a number of opportunities. I don’t think you want to pull the cord yet , you need that experience.”
Suryakumar Yadav was brought in as a late injury replacement along with Prithvi Shaw. The Mumbai Indians batsman has been in good form as of late but has never played the longest format for India, and the challenge only increases in complexity, given the conditions in England.
While Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have played 14 Tests each since the beginning of 2020 and average 26.25 and 27.56 runs per innings, Virat Kohli averages a poor 24.68 in 11 Tests. India’s No. 3, 4, and 5 have just one century between them during this period – Ajinkya Rahane’s 112 in Melbourne – when the team has played seven Tests against England, four against Australia, and three against New Zealand.
Brad Hogg: Inclusion Of Aggressive Suryakumar Yadav Will Expose Lower Order
Brad Hogg feels that the inclusion of Suryakumar Yadav will hamper the team’s combination and will impact the stability of the batting order as well.
Brad Hogg added: “Having Suryakumar Yadav and Pant coming in together at 5 and 6 exposes that lower order because both players are aggressive.”
India will have to assess their current playing XI and also take the playing conditions into account following a barrage of poor decisions right from the toss in the third Test at Leeds. The fourth Test starting today (September 2) will be contested at The Oval. The series is currently tied at 1-1.
Suryakumar Yadav or Hanuma Vihari might come into the Indian team’s scheme of things if they consider playing an extra batsman. The latter should ideally be preferred in such a scenario, considering the fighting knock he played at Sydney. Although he is yet to play Tests, Suryakumar Yadav has a compelling record in first-class cricket, scoring 5326 runs in 77 first-class games at 44.01, with 14 tons.
Shardul Thakur and Ravichandran Ashwin are likely to be added to the Indian playing XI.
India Likely Playing XI For 4th Test Against England: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.