Saturday, March 2, 2024

One Series Captain Next Series, Not Even a Vice Captain: the Story of Ajinkya Rahane’s Test Career

Ajinkya Rahane has been India’s Test specialist player, and he was the vice-captain of the Indian Test Team before the upcoming series between South Africa Vs India three-match Test series, which begins on Sunday, 26th December 2021 at Centurion. Rahane had captained the Test team of India, and he hasn’t lost a game till now.

In the absence of India’s regular Test skipper, Virat Kohli, Rahab has taken over the leadership, and he was terrific as a captain. Rahane had also captained the Indian Test team in the first Test match against New Zealand in Kanpur. India fought hard under the captaincy of Rahane, and the game was drawn in Kanpur because of the insufficient light. The Indian team was just one wicket away from winning that Test match.

Ajinkya Rahane also had taken the captaincy role when Virat Kohli went home for the birth of his first child. India was down and out in the second innings of the Adelaide Pink Ball test match. Hazlewood and Cummins orchestrated a collapse, and India was bundled out for 36 runs. Australia won the first match, the Day-Night Test match, quite comprehensively. 

Australia looked like the firm favourites to win the series then. The next and the second Test match was the Boxing Day test match at MCG–Melbourne Cricket Ground, played after the Xmas celebrations.  Australia will play their third Test match of the Ashes Test series on the same eve against England on Sunday 26th December 2021.

India did well with the ball at MCG and bundled out the Aussies for a poultry score. India’s bowling has been good overseas. But the concerns were in their batting, and Rahane ‘s captain’s knock changed the completion of the series. India went on to win the MCG Test match by a dominating margin, and they also conquered Brisbane, The Gabba fortress. 

Rahane had captained the depleted Indian side, which won the series in Australia. After Virat went home, Shami, Jadeja, Bumrah, and Ashwin were injured, and they couldn’t take further part in this integrating test series. Pujara and Pant were the heroes of the SCG – Sydney Cricket Ground and Shardul Sundar’s fantastic knocks helped India be in the game, and Mohammad Siraj’s maiden five-wicket haul and Rishabh Pant’s finishing act ensured another series win for India Down Under. 

Rahane’s leadership qualities have been excellent till now. He hasn’t lost a Test match as the Indian Test captain, and many believe that Rahane was superior qualities to the regular skipper Virat Kohli as the captain in Test matches. Rahane has a calm and quiet attitude, just like MS Dhoni, while Virat Kohli is an aggressive captain, and according to the experts, that style of captaincy doesn’t always work.  

But there is a massive concern in the batting form of Rahane. He hasn’t been that consistent Test batter for India for some time now. He scored a ton in 2020 at Melbourne, a half-century in Chennai, and England in 2021. The ton which came in MCG came after a long gap, and his performance after that Test match hasn’t been consistent either.

Rahane bats at the number five position for India, which is also a critical batting position in the Test team. Shreyas Iyer delivered the punch against New Zealand in his debut Test match at Kanpur, and India can also play Wriddiman Saha at that particular number. India can also pick a bowling all-rounder in place of Ajinkya.

The upcoming three-match Test series against South Africa might be the last chance to prove his mettle in the Indian Test Team. India is also yet to try out Suryakumar Yadav in the Test format. After his excellent show in the limited-overs format, SKY can replace Ajinkya Rahane in the longer version of the game, and we all know that Surya can make the number five position to his name. 

So now, Rahane needs to peak new heights in Test cricket, which is the only format he plays for India. Rahane was also the part of ODI and T20I team. But now, he has not been even looked for the limited-overs games. If Rahane fails in South Africa, his career will be over, and India will also lose their chance of making history in the Proteas Nation.

Jinks needs an innings like Melbourne, and he needs to put those low run scorers behind. He has got starts in almost every innings he has played till now. The Indian board, BCCI, and the team management have removed Rahane from the vice-captaincy role. Rohit Sharma was named the deputy of Virat Kohli in the Test series against South Africa. But Hit Man will also miss the entire series due to a left hamstring injury.

Kannur Lokesh Rahul is the new vice-captain of the Indian Test Team in South Africa. Rahul has been good in Test matches he played on the tour of England, and now KL has almost cemented his place in all three formats of Indian Cricket.  Also read – Kannur Lokesh Rahul Announced as the New Deputy of Virat Kohli for the South African Test Series

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