Former India seamer Ashish Nehra doesn’t want to come down too heavily on seasoned duo Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara’s position in the team unlike the rest of the cricket fraternity. According to Nehra, the poor streak can be credited to ismissals due to superb deliveries.
Both batters made one fifty each in the series against South Africa, averaging around 20s in six innings. Their inconsistency has been a huge concern, and their position in the team is being looked at with scrutiny as in-form Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer wait for their chance
On Day 3 of the final Test against South Africa, Rahane got a single run off nine balls, while Pujara was out for nine runs off 33 balls in India’s second innings. The Virat Kohli-led side scored 198 in their second innings, riding on Rishabh Pant’s stunning century.
Most people are pointing fingers at Pujara and Rahane. However, in a chat with Cricbuzz, Nehra opined that the batting collapse cannot be attributed to the failure of the duo. “The way Pujara and Rahane got out today, anybody could have got out in that manner, even Virat Kohli. I wouldn’t look too much into today’s dismissals. You cannot change your views on senior players after every Test,” he added.
Rahane scored 136 runs for India in the three-match series, while Pujara scored 124 runs. Nehra praised Rahane and Pujara’s batting exploits in the last season of the ICC World Test Championship and suggested that critics consider the pitches India has played in the last two years to be be rather difficult.
Although Vihari and Iyer are both ready, Nehra reckons that the scenario was tough to navigate for the Team India management because they did not have backups available at the time. He added that if the two were to be brought in, the management must be prepared to give them a long rope as well.