Rahane has not been in the best of forms in the recent past and is currently averaging 20.62 from 13 innings in 2021. 

Virat Kohli Press Conference
Virat Kohli Press Conference. (Photo Source: ICC)

Indian skipper Virat Kohli shushed the noise around Ajinkya Rahane’s form ahead of the second Test of the five-match Pataudi Trophy. Rahane has not been in the best of forms in the recent past and is currently averaging 20.62 from 13 innings in 2021.

The right-hander struck a century against Australia in Melbourne in last year’s Boxing Day Test, which came after a horrendous show in Adelaide when India slumped to 36 all-out in the Pink Test. In Kohli’s absence who took paternity leave after India’s Adelaide debacle, Rahane led the team India team to a come-from-behind win in Melbourne, before a hard-fought draw in Sydney and the historic victory in Brisbane to clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1. Rahane finished the series with 268 runs at 38.29.

He was a part of the team during the home series against England, where he tallied merely 112 runs from six innings at 18.67, with the best score of 67 in the second Test in Chennai. Rahane, however, was India’s highest run-getter (49) in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton’s Ageas Bowl in June, a contest that India lost by eight wickets to concede the inaugural edition of the championship.

He had to miss the three-day warm-up fixture in Durham owing to a hamstring niggle, while at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, he was run-out for just five runs. Kohli, however, opened that the team is looking beyond “where people are individually”.

“I do not think Ajinkya Rahane’s form is an area of concern. Our basic focus is not to think about where are people individually at the moment, collectively how much strength they bring into the team is our focus,” Kohli said in a pre-match virtual press conference on the eve of the Lord’s encounter.

We expect Rishabh Pant to play the innings that changes the momentum: Virat Kohli

Kohli further expressed what the team expects from Rishabh Pant. “He has the capability to carry on and play long innings. He is intelligent – if you are looking to save the test, he will play like that and if the game is 50-50, he will take the chance and change the game”.

“That is how he plays and that is who he is. We want him to be that way. From Rishabh, we expect that he plays the innings that changes the momentum of the game and take that balance towards us. He is going to play this way,”.

Meanwhile, the Indian captain is not worried about the team’s batting depth despite Shardul Thakur’s exit from the second Test owing to a hamstring injury, after a promising show from the tailenders at Trent Bridge. “Shardul Thakur, besides bowling, he brings in more batting ability in the lower order. But I am not too much concerned about the batting depth as our lower order played well in the First Test.”


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