Despite plenty of optimism backed by the wonderful result in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, India were humiliated in the first Test in Chennai. England ended up winning the match by a margin of 227 runs and also took a precious 1-0 lead in the Test series, which could prove to be decisive in the World Test Championship qualification. Several players came under the scanner after under-performing and failing to make the most of home conditions. India’s vice-captain in the longest format of the game Ajinkya Rahane was also criticised for faring very poorly against England.
He failed to cross the mark of 1 run across both his innings and his mode of dismissal in the second innings while facing James Anderson was also mocked. He has also been a victim of trolls and memes on social media for failing to show consistency.
Ajinkya Rahane scored a spectacular century in the second Test against Australia in Melbourne when the team was desperate for some leadership in batting. However, since then he has gone cold and has failed to register a 50+ score across seven innings.
In a press conference ahead of the second Test which will also be played in Chennai, Rahane was asked about his poor form with the bat. “We are playing at home after two years. It’s all about the team, not about any individual. If you look at my last 10-15 Tests, you will find some runs there,” he stated.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli also backed Ajinkya Rahane after the first Test and called him as important an asset as Cheteshwar Pujara for the side. Rahane has managed just 779 runs at 29.96 in 18 matches with a single hundred and 6 fifty-plus scores under Kohli’s leadership in India.
“Ajinkya Rahane and I’ve said this many times in the past as well, that along with Pujara, he is our most important Test batsman and he’s going to continue to be. We believe in his abilities; we have believed in his abilities for a long time. He’s an impact player. If you talk about the MCG Test, he stood up and scored a hundred there when the team wanted it most,” the Indian skipper had said during the press conference on Tuesday on being asked about the poor scores by Ajinkya Rahane in the Chepauk Test.