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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ajinkya Rahane got out for 0 in the 2nd innings of the Oval Test
  • Rahane has managed just 109 runs in 4 Tests in England this year
  • Rahane has averaged less than 20 in 11 Tests since his MCG hundred

Batting coach Vikram Rathour played down concerns over Ajinkya Rahane’s form, saying the vice-captain still remains a crucial member of the team’s batting unit. Rathour’s comments came after Rahane was dismissed for duck in the 2nd innings of the Oval Test wherein most batsmen made good use of the batting-friendly conditions.

While the Big 3 of India’s batting unit, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, started the series with a couple of low scores, Rahane has not been able to find form unlike the other two. The India vice-captain, who plays at a crucial spot in the middle order, has managed just 109 runs in 4 Tests and has the lowest overage in the series.

Rahane dropped to No. 6 as India gave Ravindra Jadeja promotion to No. 5 spot in the 4th Test. However, Rahane has not been able to make amends, managing scores of 14 and 0 in the Oval Test. Since scoring the big match-winning hundred in Melbourne last year, Rahane has averaged 19.57 in 11 Tests, which includes the 4-Test series against England at home.

Speaking to the press after Day 4 wherein India managed 466 runs in the 2nd innings, Vikram Rathour said the team management will continue to back Ajinkya Rahane. He pointed out that only such backing helped Cheteshwar Pujara overcome poor form and play a couple of crucial knocks in the ongoing series.

“Not at this point. As I have said earlier also, when you are playing cricket for such a long time, you will have phases where you won’t get runs. That’s a time when as a team, you need to back them and support them as much as we can,” Rathour said.

“We saw that with Pujara also, he got more opportunities and [made a] come back, he’s played a couple of important innings for us,” he added.

“We are hoping that Ajinkya will also get back to form, and he’ll, you know, still play a major role in the Indian team’s batting. So, I don’t think we have arrived to that point where it should become a concern.”

With a hundred from Rohit Sharma and fifties from Cheteshwar Pujara, Shardul Thakur, and Rishabh Pant, India managed to set England a target of 367. However, England made a strong start, heading to Stumps on Day 4 at 77 for 0.

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