While there are several youngsters in the squad, India’s middle-order boasts of the top three in Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Ajinkya Rahane. However, none of the three batsmen are in the kind of nick that they’ve been known for.
As India look to register a Test series win in England after 14 years, a lot will depend on how their batting fares. Over the last three tours, especially in 2014 and 2018, India’s batting has struggled to cope against Duke’s ball in England, which subsequently led to outcomes such as a 1-3 loss in 2014 and a 1-4 defeat in 2018.
While there are several youngsters in the squad, India’s middle-order boasts of the top three in Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. However, none of the three batsmen are in the kind of nick that they’ve been known for. While Pujara hasn’t scored a Test fifty in his last seven innings, Kohli has looked good in patches. Rahane on the other hand needs to get some runs under his belt before time runs out.
It was in 2014 that Rahane made headlines, scoring a century at Lord’s, and former India batsman VVS Laxman has advice for India’s No. 5 Test batsman. “Ajinkya Rahane is a very important member of this Indian batting line-up, especially in overseas conditions. I still remember the way he batted at Lord’s, in Melbourne and also the way he batted in South Africa was instrumental in India winning those Test matches,” Laxman said during a discussion on Star Sports.
Since his match-winning century against Australia at Melbourne last year, Rahane has scored fifty only once in 13 innings. And the last time he played in England, Rahane managed two fifty-plus scores across 10 innings. Clearly, Rahane needs to produce his best this time around if India are to have a chance of breaking their barren run in England, something Laxman is confident of.
“The one thing I feel that Ajinkya Rahane has to sort out is his game plan against short-pitched deliveries. We saw that in the series against New Zealand, we also saw that in the World Test Championship final,” the former India batsman added.