Ajinkya Rahane lucky to be in Indian side, says Gautam Gambhir

Despite terrible run, Gambhir feels Rahane should consider himself 'fortunate' to be in Indian Test side as he will lead in Virat's absence

By Web Desk
November 23, 2021
Former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir. --AFP/File

Former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir feels Ajinkya Rahane should consider himself "fortunate" to still be in the Indian Test side as he will lead in Virat Kohli's absence in the first Test against New Zealand, despite being in terrible form recently.

Gambhir speaking on Star Sports show 'Game Plan', said he would like to see Shubman Gill playing at the number 4 position with Mayank Agarwal opening the innings alongside KL Rahul.

Gambhir said: "Rahane is pretty fortunate that he is still part of this side because he is probably still leading [given] the kind of England series he has had. But he has another opportunity now and hopefully he can make that count."

Former India pacer Irfan Pathan also felt that selectors and the team management will need to keep an eye on Rahane's performances against New Zealand, especially with a tour of South Africa coming up after that.

Pathan said: "You need to keep an eye on Ajinkya Rahane's performances. He has been having a terrible time, especially in the last one year. So, you need to keep in mind that who will be the guy batting in the middle overs, not only against New Zealand, but also in South Africa. So, if you think Shubman Gill is your man, then make him bat at No.4 and continue with that."

Rahane, who miserably failed in England, scoring only 109 runs from seven innings, with an average of just 15.57 and a high score of 61. 

Still, Ajinkya Rahane has been preferred over the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur with even Bumrah averaging more than the middle-order batsman.