Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has backed middle order batsman Ajinkya Rahane despite the latter’s poor run of form in the ongoing India-England series, stating that he is “as good as Virat Kohli in Tests for India”.
Talking to India Today, Ganguly said that there is no doubt of Rahane’s spot in the Test team, signifying him as an important member of the side. He advised the 28-year old to avoid thinking much about the lack of form and “remove it out of his system”.
“I’ll tell him to just take this (poor run) out of your system, go out and enjoy, have a dinner and come back tomorrow and just take it out of your mind. India will field again tomorrow so he does not have to bat”, Ganguly said.
Rahane has failed to match up to the standards he is known to show at the Test level, having managed only 63 runs from 5 innings. The dip in form surprisingly comes after his 188 against New Zealand in the last Test of the previous series. Rahane looked out of sorts in the ODI series too, garnering only one fifty-plus score in five matches. The 188 was his highest score in Tests.
Ganguly also said that Rahane is a very intense cricketer and one can see that in his front foot defence, even when he missed the line of the ball his head was down and he was all the way forward to the delivery trying to get everything correct.
Particularly known for his unflappable temperament and watertight technique, Rahane, who has been playing Tests for India since 2013, has a good record away from home, than he has on home soil.
Given the fact that Rahane has proved his mettle for the team, it won’t be long before he is back in form. Till then, it is imperative he gets backing from his fans and teammates alike.
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Photo by Hash Milhan