Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is going through a torrid run. The batter is averaging just around 19 in the 11 Tests he has played this year and many feel that the Indian team should move on from Rahane, especially with plenty of talented cricketers waiting for their opportunities. Former Australian captain Ian Chappell feels that India could try Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya or Ravindra Jadeja in place of Rahane. Chappell believes that all these players can score runs quickly which will give Indian bowlers more time to pick 20 wickets.
“A middle order that reads Jadeja, Rishabh Pant, Pandya and Ashwin should provide the runs expected of that section. With three fast bowlers to follow, the batting is then supported by a versatile attack. That’s the advantage of having a strong, well-balanced attack – you don’t need huge scores to chase victory.
“The simplest equation for winning Test matches is for the batters to score quickly in order to give the bowlers enough time to take 20 wickets,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.
The move to bat any of the aforementioned players in place of Rahane will help India to play an extra all-rounder in Hardik Pandya and Ravichandran Ashwin alongside Jadeja. However, the equation is not that simple as these batters will have to prove their credibility in SENA countries before India think that way. Rahane is also the vice-captain of the team and has one of the smartest brains in the Indian team. While Chappell admitted that India would miss Rahane’s inputs, he said limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma can take up the role.
“The only downside would be the loss of Ajinkya Rahane’s tactical input and his slip fielding to the spinners. Nevertheless, Rohit Sharma is now an acclaimed captain and he’s capable of handling the vice-captaincy role,” he added.