Ajinkya Rahane

This former Indian all-rounder takes a dig at Indian batsmen

[caption id="attachment_61732" align="aligncenter" width="580"]South Africa vs India, 2nd Test (Image: BCCI) India lost the second Test at Centurion a few days back. Image Source: BCCI[/caption]

Sabyasachi Bagchi, Kolkata: Virat Kohli led Indian cricket team’s winning streak of nine series in Tests came to an end earlier this week after they lost to South Africa in the second Test at Centurion by 135 runs as the hosts took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series. After the match most of the former Indian cricketers criticized the approach of the Indian cricket team in the Proteas. Currently Delhi cricket team is in Kolkata to play the Super League round of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Former Indian all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar is currently the bowling coach of Delhi. While talking to the media he discussed everything about where India is lacking on South African soil and what should be the remedy of it. Here goes the conversation:

#The cricketers should learn to leave the ball

Untill an unless if you don’t learn how to leave the ball you will survive in South Africa. Even I was an opener, if I can do it then why can’t they? The main thing is you should leave the ball. A lot of players are playing in IPL and here our trend is to hit a ball and not to leave a ball. Even I saw in Ranji Trophy that the current crop of cricketers don’t even know how to play a short ball except veteran Wasim Jaffer. If you want to be successful in South Africa you have to learn how to leave a delivery, which our openers don’t know.

#Have to stay at the crease

Virat had stayed at the crease at Centurion and played a knock of 153 runs. One of his video went viral where he said that if we stay at the crease till the evening we will tear them apart. The openers should underdstand their role. According to me any team can set the tone in their favor if they bat and bowl well in the first 20 overs of the game, if our openers can survive the first 20 overs in South Africa then Virat Kohli and the rest of the batsman would be the best batting side in the world.

#Ajinkya Rahane should play

This is a shame if you pick a test side watching the performances in the T20I and ODIs. They are the specialist batsman those who play test matches. It’s a specialist job to play the new ball in test matches. Will you suddenly pick Rishabh Pant for a test match? As we all know that a batsman need a different technique to survive in the test match and I think Rahane should play the third Test in place of Rohit.

#Comparison of Hardik Pandya with legendary Kapil Dev

You need to be very strong in your basics to become a good all-rounder. Kapil became a legend as he knew the basics well. He often told us that if you need to take a second run you should definitely don’t come closer to the crease when taking the first run and Pandya did this basic mistake in the second Test and if he wants to become a good all-rounder he should work on his basics first.

#On the improvement of Ishant Sharma

Ishant is a totally different bowler now. He was with me for one and a half months and I just corrected his balance right. During the last six years everyone was saying that his shoulder was down when he was bowling, but nobody tried to rectify it. I got a chance in last 45 days and now you can see his improvement.

#Bhuvneshwar Kumar should play the third Test

I think the team management should include Bhuvi in the playing XI at Johannesburg. I did bowl there and one can get a lot of swing there. And we all know that the South Africans are good against seam bowling but they are not that good against swing bowling. In last two IPL seasons he did really well there, now you think if he can do that well on Indian pitches, what would he do on Proteas soil. I think he is the best choice before anybody else.

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