New Delhi. Former India Test opener Aakash Chopra has targeted Ajinkya Rahane’s decision to captain Ajinkya Rahane for the first Test against New Zealand. Ajinkya Rahane is set to lead the team in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur. After this, Virat Kohli will return to the line-up and lead the team in the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The newly-appointed T20 International captain Rohit Sharma was in controversy over rest in the Test series against New Zealand. In such a situation, in the absence of Rohit and Virat, Rahane was given the responsibility of leadership. Rahane has been the vice-captain of the Test team for the past few years and earlier this year he led the side for three matches in the coveted Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia. India won this trophy in a grand style.
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra, however, is worried about the decision to give the captaincy to Ajinkya Rahane as there were doubts about his selection in the team. Aakash Chopra on his YouTube channel said, “You have selected Ajinkya Rahane as the captain. But the truth is also that there was a question about his selection in the last Test against England. However, that last Test between England and India didn’t happen. He said, “I like Ajinkya Rahane very much, but the truth is that there has been a decline in his average. There were definitely some good innings in the middle, but the average has dropped by 20 points in the last two years. Rahane’s average has never gone so low.”
‘Lord’s half-century saved Rahane from being dropped’
Aakash Chopra said a half-century at Lord’s saved Ajinkya Rahane from being ruled out and claimed the New Zealand series was crucial to his career. He said, “If he had not scored a half-century at Lord’s (partnership with Pujara in the second innings), it would have been a matter of another discussion. If you had to find an alternative for Ajju as well. If Rohit Sharma will be the vice-captain and Ajinkya can be given notice, but this time he has been made the captain.
Ajinkya Rahane’s bat has been silent for a long time
In fact, Rahane, who led India to a historic series win against Australia under his captaincy last year, has remained silent since then. Rahane could not play a big innings in the 4 Tests against England and the World Test Championship. Since then, questions are being raised on his place in the playing-11. Since the Melbourne Test last year, Rahane has played 11 Tests and has scored 372 runs at an average of just 19.
‘Series important for Ajinkya Rahane, runs have to be scored’
He further said, “It is a very important series for Rahane. He is there as a captain but he has to score runs because there is pressure. The last one year has been really normal by their standards, really by any standards.” In the recently played series against England, Ajinkya Rahane scored only 109 runs in 7 innings at an average of 15.57. In fact, since the start of 2020, Ajinkya Rahane has scored only 644 runs in 27 Test innings at an average of 24.76 and has just one century and two half-centuries to his name.