Rethink on Rahane after Aussie lesson
The national selectors will be forced into a rethink on the composition of India’s one-day squad for the New Zealand tour, after Australia shook Virat Kohli’s men out of their comfort zone at the Wankhede on Tuesday night.
According to sources, Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane’s name will again come up for discussion after Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins exposed the frailties in the middle-order.
Rahane’s name was discussed at length during the meeting on Sunday afternoon when the announcement for the one-day and Test squads were held back. The Telegraph had refrained from naming the cricketer and reported that debate over the inclusion of a very senior member for the ODI side had led to the delay.
The squad for only the five T20Is in New Zealand was released to the media.
It was also learnt that the selectors, led by MSK Prasad, wanted to get an update on Prithvi Shaw’s fitness for the Test squad and witness India’s performance against Australia before making a decision.
Shaw is undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy for a shoulder injury suffered during a Ranji match.
“You need experience in the middle-order. How can you counter the seam and swing movement in New Zealand when you are struggling against Starc and Cummins on home pitches?” asked someone in the know of things.
“You need an experienced hand. Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant are talented but you have to give them some time to adjust.
“New Zealand is not going to be easy. If the top-order falters there is no one who can hold the innings together in a 50-over game. Rahane can offer such resistance in the middle overs,” he reasoned.
The squads are likely to be announced after the final ODI against Australia in Bangalore on Sunday.
Rishabh Pant is stable and all his scan reports are clear since he was hit on his helmet while batting in the 1st ODI against Australia on Tuesday.
He had suffered a concussion and took no further part in the match. He was taken to the hospital for overnight monitoring under a specialist. Now, he has been discharged and will head to NCA, Bangalore, to undergo his rehabilitation protocol. He has been ruled out of the second ODI and his availability for the final ODI will be based on how he responds to rehabilitation.