Former India bowler Zaheer Khan feels that Ajinkya Rahane will play the fifth Test against England in Manchester. The Indian vice-captain is in wretched form at the moment, enduring twin failures in the fourth Test, which the visitors won to go 2-1 up in the series.
Zaheer Khan noted that Ajinkya Rahane should not be playing the final Test due to his dismal form and lack of confidence. But he believes the management’s lack of confidence in the other bench options means Rahane may not be dropped for the Manchester Test. During an interaction with Cricbuzz, Khan said:
“See, what I said in my opinion, and what I saw, suggests that Rahane should not get a place in the team. But what we have seen from the team so far, their approach shows that we will see Rahane playing in the match.”
He added that Rahane would be given a lot of confidence from the management to go out on the field and perform to the best of his ability. That’s because the team is coming off a win in the last Test.
Zaheer Khan added:
“Because the environment was different last time, this time they are coming off a win. Sometimes, players are given confidence. and they are told that you are backed by the team. You are a strong member of the batting unit, and we are confident with your abilities; so go out and perform well.”
Team may not have confidence in the players on the bench – Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan pointed out that had the management had belief in the batsmen on the bench, they would have dropped Rahane prior to the fourth Test itself.
Hanuma Vihari and Suryakumar Yadav are the options India have in the middle order. Vihari was last seen in the Sydney Test at the start of the year, while Yadav hasn’t made his Test debut. Zaheer Khan noted:
“If the team had enough confidence in the players on the bench, we would have seen Ajinkya Rahane being dropped in the previous match itself. Because change showed good results; changes were made in the bowling unit last match, and the result was good, so why not do the same with batting. If we think in that direction, I think the chamge should be made with Rahane.”
The fifth Test starts at Old Trafford, Manchester, on Friday. An upbeat Team India will need to avoid defeat to win their first Test series on English soil in more than a decade.
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