Although Ajinkya Rahane has come under pressure for his poor run of form, he is backed by former India pacer Zaheer Khan who has also seen him up and close while playing for Mumbai. Zaheer said Rahane is just one good inning away from hitting prime form. The Mumbai batter is going through some bad form accounting for just 411 runs in 12 Tests this year at an average of 19.57. Moreover, Shreyas Iyer’s superb form has only made matters worse for Rahane who might have lost his place in the eleven had Rohit Sharma not lost out due to an injury.
“There have been mixed performances for Ajinkya Rahane. There is no doubt about it. He is under immense pressure. That is the fact. For any cricketer, to go through this kind of phase, you’ve got to have that mental toughness to come out of it. The good part is that you are still there and you are one inning away. As a batsman or cricketer, you should have such a belief.”
“Through my personal experience, if someone is going through a rough patch, you’ve got to have that belief that you are just one inning or one good knock away from that good performance. If you hit that, things change very fast as well. This is what I would advise Ajinkya at this stage. As a cricketer, you need to accept these challenges and take them head-on,” Zaheer Khan said while speaking to the Times of India in an interview.
Rahane would have sat out of Mumbai Test against New Zealand which was the second game of the series, but he was said to be injured by the BCCI in its press release. A number of players including Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant Sharma was also termed injured as all three sat out. As the caravan moves to South Africa, it needs to be seen how Rahane bats despite all that pressure.