Ajinkya Rahane

Rahane’s poor form a concern for India ahead of South Africa series

Debasis Sen, Delhi: The recent slump in form of Ajinkya Rahane is bound to leave the Indian team management concerned ahead of the tough tour to South Africa at the start of new year. For India to do well a lot will depend on Rahane’s form with the bat as he will be a vital cog in the middle order batting. It is a little bit baffling to see the slump in form for someone who has the best averages among the current crop of Indian players. The Mumbaikar is going through the most miserable patch in his six-year international career with modest returns of 7 runs from 4 innings in the current series. He has only scored two fifties and a hundred in his last 15 innings, raising the eye-brows of the critics.

Rahane’s lack of confidence against the spinners was once again exposed on Saturday, as he was stumped by a wrong’un from Sri Lankan chinaman bowler Lakshan Sandakan.

According to Indian batting coach Sanjay Bangar, "He (Rahane) would be disappointed in the manner he got out. He is somebody who works hard on his game, like all players do. May be last match (trying to square cut off- spinner Dilruwan Perera) and this match (stumped off Sandakan), he erred in shot selection."
Bangar is confident that Rahane will bounce back as he has the ability to do so. Rahane has been one of India’s most successful batsmen on overseas tours.

"I think that would be hurting him definitely but he is a quality player. And going forward, even his overseas record has been phenomenal. Yeah, he would be disappointed. He is a quality player and has the ability to bounce back quickly," Bangar said after the post day’s play.
He also added,"He is one of the few players who have scored in every overseas country we have toured. That shows the quality he possesses. He is a quality player who has always performed when the chips are down for the team. He will be hurting with the kind of dismissals he has had but he is too good a player to not score runs for a long time."
Talking about the way out for Rahane, Bangar said, "We have to ensure how one can counter and transform the negative thoughts into positive ones. These are things we discuss. The hunger is same in all players."

Lastly, the batting coach said that while selecting the playing XI, the current form of a player is paramount.

"The team management is very clear that the current form and the way in which the mindset of a player is going to be is paramount while picking the final XI."



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