India’s Test specialist and vice-captain in the purest format of the game, Ajinkya Rahane, was seen struggling in the course of the two-match Test series versus New Zealand, which came to an end on March 02 (Monday) at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.
Rahane started well as he looked comfortable during the first innings of the series opener in Wellington and made a brisk 46. However, things fell from bad to worse for the experienced right-hander who couldn’t make the most of the starts or perished without troubling the scorers a lot.
In his last appearance with the willow in the series, Rahane was struggling to get going against the short-ball tactics adopted by the Kiwi pacers. He kept shuffling, looked uncomfortable and tried to counterattack only to perish for a 43-ball 9.
Decoding his struggles, former cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar schooled Rahane and told Times of India, “He’s making an extra movement with his hands while batting. He’s moving his bat too much in his backlift. He’s a fraction of a second late on to the ball. It explains why his head isn’t still when the ball is delivered.
You need to leave the short balls alone. They were bowling short-pitched stuff on a green top. Your shot selection becomes very important in such a case. You’ve to show a lot of patience and guts,” opined the 63-year-old regarding the Test specialist.
Rahane will be gutted with his struggles in New Zealand as he had regained form during the West Indies tour, in August-September 2019, and had a decent run in the home series versus South Africa and Bangladesh as well before the close of 2019.
Once regarded as India’s best batter overseas, Rahane will have to go back to the drawing board and look for methods to counter his weaknesses without going overboard. With India’s next Test assignment coming at the end of 2020, in a four-match Test series versus Australia Down Under, the right-hander has enough time to rejuvenate his batting style.