India is up against New Zealand in the first Test of the two-match series at the Green Park in Kanpur from November 25 to November 29. With the skipper Virat Kohli on a break, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is leading the side. In the recent past, Rahane hasn’t been enjoying an ideal outing in the purest format of the game. 

On a personal front, the batter is struggling with his form and has failed to essay the responsibility assigned to him properly. Rahane’s lean patch has also paved way for a lot of criticism and bashing as many cricket pundits are labeling him as a liability for India’s Test team. Here’s today match cricket prediction. Do check how we predict any matches.

Former Indian opening batsman Gautam Gambhir delivered a big statement regarding Ajinkya Rahane ahead of the first Test. Gambhir believes that the only reason Rahane is still part of the Test side is his post of vice-captain. The veteran advised Ajinkya to make the most out of the opportunity provided to him to cement his place in the team.

Notably, the last impressive knock by Rahane came in 2021 at Melbourne when he took the team to victory with his scintillating century. Since then, the 33-year-old has struggled to get going. In the last 15 Test matches, the batter has scored just 644 runs at a poor average of 24.76. 

Further, it is the first time since November 2015 that Rahane’s Test average has fallen below 40. Apart from elaborating his views on Rahane, Gautam Gambhir also suggested Team India’s batting order. 

Delhi Stalwart wants KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal to open the innings for India. According to Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara should bat at number three while Shubman Gill should replace Virat Kohli at fourth place. 

“I am going to open with Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul because he opened in England and then probably Shubman Gill will bat at No. 4.

That’s what I would want to see and plus Rahane is pretty fortunate that he’s still part of this side because he’s leading… But again he’s got another opportunity now, hopefully, he can make that count,” Gambhir said while speaking on Star Sports’ show ‘Game Plan’.

As much as I like Ajinkya Rahane, his average has been seen falling down only: Aakash Chopra

Ajinkya Rahane

Meanwhile, Gautam Gambhir is not the only one to raise questions over Ajinkya Rahane’s selection in the Indian team. A few days back, veteran batter Aakash Chopra also slammed Rahane for his disastrous form with the willow.

Speaking about the vice-captain, Chopra said that Rahane needs to prove his capabilities to secure a position in the team. The renowned commentator added that looking at the performances of the right-hander, he doesn’t even deserve a place in the team, forget about leading the side. 

“You have picked Ajinkya Rahane as the captain. But the truth is also that, let’s be honest, there was a question about him being selected for the last Test against England if the match had happened,” he said on his YouTube channel. Here the update of T20 blast 2021.

“As much as I like Ajinkya Rahane, the fact is that the average has been seen falling down only. There has been an odd good knock in between for sure but the average has fallen 20 points in the last two years. Rahane’s average has never gone so low,” Aakash Chopra concluded. 

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