Injuries and a lack of form have come at the wrong time for Ajinkya Rahane. From being one of the first names on the team sheet, he now finds his place in the test side under threat, this may well follow with his exclusion from the ODI side.
The former test vice captain could only watch as younger players Karun Nair and KL Rahul stole the show in the last test. What made his agony more was the fact that prior to being injured he had three bad matches. Unfortunately for Rahane India hadn’t played test cricket for a while before this, so his past form is not remembered. The vice captain role will also be hard to claw back off Ravi Ashwin who is on the form of his life.
Looking at Rahane’s test career his stats are excellent, most recently Ganguly has stated that he is as good as Kohli. The talent is undeniable, but the question for Rahane that will need to be answered by the selectors for the Australia series is how much does past form and experience count over recent form?
Ajinkya Rahane’s test stats:
The Indian test side has an abundance of batting talent now, that is capable of dominating test cricket. Rahane’s rivals are Pujara (who has consolidated his number 3 position), Kohli (the captain who is undroppable on current form), Nair (who is the form batsman) and Rohit Sharma (who also missed the series due to injury).
Rahane could also open the batting, but would have to uproot Vijay and KL Rahul, he would also have to push ahead of Dhawan and Gambhir (who both are off form). There is a tough decision to be made prior to the Australian series in February.
There is no doubt that the classy batsman will be back one day, for now it might be a waiting game. He will have to work hard and once again prove himself in domestic cricket and try to get back into the minds of the selectors with a good IPL.