London, Sep 5 (IANS) India’s decision to promote Ravindra Jadeja ahead of Ajinkya Rahane did not completely pay off. The decision has left former India cricketers surprised.
“In the first innings when he came in at No. 6 and Jadeja was sent in at No. 5, we genuinely thought that Rahane was not ready to walk in due to some reason like a toilet break. It has happened in the past too. But this has happened again. It proves it was part of the team strategy,” said former India opener and captain Sunil Gavaskar.
The decision allowed Ajinkya Rahane some protection against new ball on Saturday evening — late third day’s play.
However, when Jadeja was dismissed early, Rahane walked in and again looked all at sea. He survived a leg-before wicket decision on review but was soon dismissed again as he played across the line to a delivery that came in and hit his pads.
“This is a man who not long ago scored a century in Melbourne (during the second Test in Australia in December). He led India to a series win. He also scored crucial 61 in the second innings of the second Test at Lord’s which India went on to win. For him to be demoted like this, it just shows his confidence is very low,” said former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar.
There were questions over his and Cheteshwar Pujara’s form. However, Pujara has fought his way back into form but Rahane has struggled.
Manjrekar said the demotion surprised everyone. Gavaskar nodded in agreement.
Rahane has aggregated 109 in seven innings of four Test matches at an average of 15.57. While he made 14 and 0 in the ongoing fourth Test, he scored 18 and 10 in the third Test, one and 61 in the second Test and five in the first Test.