Commentator-cum-cricket expert Sanjay Manjrekar has called for Ajinkya Rahane's exclusion from the Indian Test team owing to his poor form with the bat in the last 12 months. Manjrekar's remarks came after Rahane failed in both innings of the series-deciding third Test against South Africa in Cape Town where he registered scores of 9 & 1 respectively.
Prior to the Cape Town Test, Ajinkya Rahane had scored a valiant half-century and was also involved in a vital partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara and it appeared as if he had rediscovered his long-lost rhythm.
While commenting on Ajinkya Rahane's poor form, Sanjay Manjrekar said that the former has not done anything exceptional in the last few years apart from scoring a match-winning 112 at the MCG, and therefore, he does not deserve another innings.
“I would not give Rahane another innings. Nothing about Rahane in the last 3-4 years gives me hope that he is coming back into form. There have been glimmers when he got a hundred in Melbourne. But, apart from that, nothing much", said Manjrekar while speaking to ESPN Cricinfo.
Ajinkya Rahane's early dismissals in both innings of the ongoing Test match put pressure on India's middle-order. Had it not been skipper Virat Kohli's fighting 79 in the first innings and stumper Rishabh Pant's outstanding century in the second, India would have found themselves in a rather miserable situation.
Meanwhile, Rahane has finished the South Africa series with 136 runs in six innings averaging 22.67 and now it remains to be seen whether he will get another chance in next month's home series against Sri Lanka or not, especially with Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer waiting for their chances to shine in the middle-order. After yet another failure in the ongoing series, coach Rahul Dravid and team management are expected to make a tough call.