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Who will make way for Virat Kohli in second Test ? Cricket experts answer

Rahane is going through a severe lean patch

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane ( Image Credit: Twitter)

India batter Shreyas Iyer started his Test career with a magnificent century. The batter was drafted into the squad after the BCCI rested a few senior players from the two-match Test series against New Zealand. The right-hander grabbed the opportunity with both hands and bailed India out of trouble, helping them post a decent total on board in the first innings. Even in the second innings, Iyer played a crucial hand of 65 to help the team recover from a shaky start. 

On the other hand, under fire batter, Ajinkya Rahane, who is also the skipper of the team, failed in both innings. Rahane is going through a severe lean patch and many are questioning in place of the team. India Test captain Virat Kohli will be back for the second Test. The management now has to make a tough call to drop one of the batters to make way for Kohli. 

With Iyer making a big impact in the game, former New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori feels it would be unfair if the team drops Iyer for Kohli. Vettori instead believes that vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will have to make way for the skipper, adding that a break can do wonders for Rahane.

“I still think Rahane is still a solid player,” Vettori told ESPNcricinfo. “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.”

“If they [India 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,” he added.

Cricketer turned expert Wasim Jaffer also believes that Rahane will be disappointed for not converting a good start in the first innings, adding that one of him or Pujara will have to make way for the Indian skipper.

“He would be more upset with the start he got in the first innings and [he] did not convert it into a big one, because [in] the second innings, anytime when you bat on the day-four or day-five wickets, it is hard work. But the first innings, when the conditions were good for batting, that’s where I think he would be upset for not getting a big score,” Jaffer said.

“It’s going to be a big question, ‘who goes out when Virat Kohli comes in’, and what kind of combination India goes with, because Mayank [Agarwal] has not got runs, Ajinkya [Rahane] has not got runs, [Cheteshwar] Pujara has not got runs,” he added.

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