Ajinkya Rahane Has the Numbers, But Will he Get the Nod over Rohit Sharma?
Ahead of India’s second Test match against South Africa at Centurion, one of the hottest topics of conversation has been Ajinkya Rahane – and whether he will be brought back into the playing line up to help shore up the batting, which was a far cry from its usual dominating self in Cape Town. If the technically sound Rahane is to be brought in for this must win Test, it would likely be in place of the stylish Mumbaikar Rohit Sharma, who has been unable to replicate his form from the shorter version of the game to the longer format. Before the tour commenced, Rohit was in belligerent form at home against Sri Lanka – but at Newlands could manage a paltry return of 21 from both the innings.
In his last 20 innings, Rohit has managed to score only two half centuries, whereas Rahane has 7 half centuries and 4 tons in 29 innings outside Asia. At one glance, these numbers make more than a case for Rahane.
A comparative study of Rahane and Rohit outside Asia shows us that the former, known to be patient, is more suited to the conditions than the latter, a strokemaker.
There is more to this than what meets the eye because Rahane’s form and performance outside of Asian conditions has been nothing short of outstanding. The right hander, who has scored a ton and a half century in his last three innings has not only played more than a 100 deliveries on each occasion, but also averages more than the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar outside of the subcontinent.
In fact, going solely by numbers, with a minimum of 25 innings outside of Asia in Test cricket, Rahane’s batting average makes him a very safe bet.
First Published: January 13, 2018, 10:26 AM IST