Former New Zealand off-spinner Daniel Vettori has said that Ajinkya Rahane will have to make way for skipper Virat Kohli for the second Test against New Zealand. Rahane is going through a lean patch and averages below 25 this year. In the last 20 innings, India’s vice-captain has just scored one hundred and one half-century.
Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer, who is playing his first Test became the 16th Indian to score a Test century on debut. He also scored a half century in the second innings as well. Vettori believes it would be unfair to omit Iyer from the team, adding that Rahane will have to make way for Kohli, who will return for the second game. Former New Zealand off-spinner further opined that it would not be an end for Rahane as he still looks a good player.
“I still think Rahane is still a solid player. He looks like he wants to be aggressive; the way he is playing doesn’t feel tentative. but he is getting out. In a lot of ways, being dropped and having the ability to come back and resettle everything as a batsman, particularly at the Test level, can weigh you down,” Vettori told ESPNcricinfo.
“If they [Indian team management] leave him out of the next Test match, I don’t think it will be a death-knell for his career; it will just be a one-Test dropping, because it just resets everything, gives him a chance to go back and do a bit of work.
“I think it’s hard to drop someone [Iyer] who has scored a century on Test debut against a quality side. So, it will probably be Rahane who will make way [for Kohli],” he added.
Rahane got a good start in the first inning but failed to convert it into a big score. It will be interesting to see if Kohli drops Rahane for himself and he has backed Rahane for a long time.