Team India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has been in a poor run of form lately. He has not been among the scores ever since scoring a match-winning ton in the Boxing Day Test. Despite the lean patch, batting coach Vikaram Rathour feels that it is not a cause of concern at the moment.
Rahane was dismissed for a duck by Chris Woakes in the second innings of the fourth Test at The Oval. He survived a call earlier courtesy of a review, but was trapped LBW only a few balls after.
He has been demoted to No.6 across both the innings with left-handed Ravindra Jadeja being preferred over him.
Vikram Rathour noted that such difficult phases are normal and the team will continue to back him. Speaking in a virtual press conference after the end of the fourth day, he said:
“When you are playing cricket for such a long time, you will have phases where you will not get runs, and that is the time (when) as a team we need to back them and support them as much as we can,”
Rathour also noted the example of Pujara, who was struggling with runs in the first half of the series. He added:
“We saw with (Cheteshwar) Pujara also, him getting more opportunities, and he has come back and played a couple of very important innings for us. So we are hoping that Ajinkya will get back into form and he will 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.”
Rahane’s duck had posed India in a spot of bother with Virat Kohli departing soon after as well. However, a resurgent stand between Rishabh Pant and Shardul Thakur helped India’s cause as their fifties propelled the lead to a commanding 368.
Rathour noted how the absence of the coaching panel of Ravi Shastri, R Sridhar and Bharat Arun had an impact on the proceedings as well. The coaching trio along with the physio were forced into isolation after Ravi Shastri tested positive.
“Of course, we are missing them massively. Ravi bhai, B Arun and R Shridar, they have been extremely important part of this set-up and they have done extremely well in the last five-six years and played a major role in the team doing well,”
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