AUS vs IND: Would Be Surprised If Ajinkya Rahane Doesn’t Promote Himself To No.4, Says Ajit Agarkar | Cricket NewsDecember 24, 2020
Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar has stated that he can be actually stunned if Ajinkya Rahane doesn’t promote himself to quantity 4, within the absence of Virat Kohli for the remaining three Tests towards Australia. India and Australia will now tackle one another within the Boxing Day Test, starting December 26. Agarkar additionally feels that Shubman Gill ought to be the one changing skipper Kohli within the Indian line-up for the second Test match in Melbourne. “I think Rahane should promote himself to number four in Kohli’s absence. He has the experience and he has scored runs away from India. This is a time when the leader needs to stand up, I will be surprised if Rahane does not promote himself to number four. I think Shubman Gill should play, I have been advocating for that for a while, he has the potential. I know he opens for Punjab in domestic cricket, but if someone like him does well, he can serve Indian cricket for a long time,” Agarkar instructed ANI.
India stumbled to an eight-wicket loss within the first Test of the collection. On the third day of the primary Test, India completed with a complete of 36/9 within the second innings with Australia given a mediocre goal of 90 runs to go 1-Zero forward. Australia chased down the full comfortably inside 21 overs with eight wickets in hand.
Prithvi Shaw was given a nod within the first Test as an opener however he failed to go away a mark as he scored simply 4 runs. Speaking about Shaw, Agarkar stated: “Obviously, if your openers don’t perform, it puts more pressure on your middle order. That is a given, especially in overseas conditions if you can play out the new ball, life becomes easier for the middle-order batters. One Test doesn’t make you a good player or a bad player, if it becomes a pattern then you have to worry.”
“You also have to remember it has been nine months since India last played a Test match, it is not easy to just turn up and expect things to happen. Even Australia looked rusty but on the third day of the first Test, Australia really bowled well and everything that was bowled well, caught the edge of the bat. India’s openers need to start playing better otherwise life will keep on getting difficult.”
“Just because someone failed in a practice game, you do not change the line-up if you think that’s your best team on an overseas tour, you go with it. Rishabh Pant scored a ton in the practice game, but he was not part of the first Test, does that mean it was a wrong decision? Mayank Agarwal has not done much in the first Test either, when you are bowled out for 36, it is unfair to single out a player. One innings does not make you a great or bad player, I was impressed with the decision of playing Shaw in the first Test, if you backed him seeing his performance in practice games, it shows you are sure about your plans. Sometimes you need to stick to them despite what is being talked outside.”
Agarkar went on to additional say that Shaw ought to be given yet one more Test match as he was chosen within the first Test, and it will now be unfair if the crew administration drops him for the second Test.
“Right now, Shaw is the flavour of the season or the month that everyone is trying to pile up on him, but you have to remember why he was your first choice opening option. To start dismissing people, might be a little harsh, it will not boost his confidence. Everyone can see he is not in great form but it takes just one innings to change that. If you decided to play someone in the first match, then he surely deserves a chance. It will be harsh if there are too many changes after the first Test especially when the team was bowled out for 36,” stated Agarkar.
Pacer Mohammad Shami can be out of the Test collection towards Australia after fracturing his arm within the first Test. The bowler was hit on the arm whereas dealing with a bouncer bowled by Pat Cummins within the second innings. When requested whether or not India will battle to take 20 wickets in a Test within the absence of Shami, Agarkar stated: “It is going to be difficult for sure in Shami’s absence. What Shami and Bumrah have done with Ishant in support has been brilliant. When you lose that type of player early in the series, it is always difficult. It is an opportunity for someone else to make a name, you have to remember these are Australian conditions and as a fast bowler, you do get some assistance.”
“If you trust Jadeja to bat at number six, then you can understand playing five bowlers. Otherwise, I do not see any reason for playing five bowlers especially when you were bundled out for 36, you need that extra cushion.”
The second Test of the four-match collection will begin from December 26, from 5.00 am onwards.
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