Shardul had scored a match-winning half-century in the Gabba Test against Australia earlier this year.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Indian Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has backed Shardul Thakur to come good in the upcoming five-match Test series against England. Shardul averages 16.58 with the bat in first-class cricket, but his knock of 67 played a crucial role in India winning the Gabba Test against Australia in January.

Shardul also has seven half-centuries from 64 first-class games after making his debut in 2012. He also picked up a four-wicket haul in the historic Brisbane Test. Rahane also put forth the importance of lower-order batting and said that the specialist bowlers are showing dedication in the nets.

Rahane talked about the same in the press conference prior to India’s opening Test against Joe Root and Co. at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

Ajinkya Rahane speaks up

“Everyone is different. Hardik what he did in 2018 was different for us. Shardul can bat. You have seen Shardul bat in Australia and he did well in domestic cricket as well,” Rahane told.

“(Jasprit) Bumrah, (Mohd) Shami, (Mohd) Siraj, Umesh (Yadav) and Ishant (Sharma) are putting in the effort in the nets. Whatever 20-30 runs we score in end, matters a lot. It’s good that they are wanting to bat for at least 10-12 minutes in the nets.

“See result comes later and what is important is a process and working hard and contribute as a member of the team. We are hoping for some contributions from our tail-enders,” he stated.

Of late, Cheteshwar Pujara has come under fire for his batting in Test cricket. However, Rahane confirmed him as India’s No.3 in the opening Test. Nevertheless, he refrained from revealing the names of the openers in the game.

“Pujara is our No. 3 batsman. Who will open the innings, we are still finalising our combination. Pujara has been really solid for us at No. 3 and as for opening pair, the captain, coach and management will decide,” Rahane added.

Rahane also said that Team India is most likely to be greeted with green tops in the series. He also talked about the importance of mental health and respected Ben Stokes’ decision to take a break from the sport to work on his mental well-being.


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