In the third and the final Test of the ongoing series between South Africa and India in Johannesburg, Ajinkya Rahane was finally picked by India skipper Virat Kohli in place of Rohit Sharma.
Rahane was surprisingly omitted from the Indian lineup from the first two Tests. This had come as a big surprise for many as Rahane was a pre-series favorite to perform in the South African conditions.
It is worth noting that Rohit Sharma had a dismal run in South Africa conditions, and it did not improve much this time either. Having said that, the Indian team management stressed on the fact that Rohit was picked in the playing XI owing to his superior form in the recent times. Also, at the very same time, Rahane’s cumulative of 17 runs in 5 Test innings in the home series against Sri Lanka did not help his cause.
Amidst this backdrop, many believed that it was high time Ajinkya Rahane got his due share of chance in the series. With the series already lost, India had nothing but pride to play for.
At the Wanderers, Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first on a bowler friendly wicket. Well, the moment arrived for Rahane to show his prowess after the dismissal of Virat Kohli.
Rahane did well to see the first few minutes of his stay at the crease. But he had to walk back after scoring 9 off 27 deliveries. He was given LBW on Morne Morkel’s delivery which nipped back and stayed low.
One could easily tip Rahane to be unlucky as it was a very close call. But in the end, Rahane show’s came to a meek end.
Here is how the fans reacted to the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane:
Ajinkya Rahane since his 132 against Sri Lanka
17, 4, 0, 2, 1, 10, 9
43 runs @ 6.1 in 7 innings#SAvIND
— JSK (@imjsk27) January 24, 2018
Rahane’s struggle in the middle wasn’t unexpected. This game is a lot about what’s happening between the two ears. He deserves patience. #SAvIND
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 24, 2018
— One Two ChaCha Choudhary (@ABChoudhary007) January 24, 2018
Let's pretend Rohit Sharma would have scored more runs here like we did for Ajinkya Rahane in the first two Tests….. #SAvIND
— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) January 24, 2018
— रमेशवाबु (@rameshmanig) January 24, 2018
All these people mocking and laughing at Rahane's failure and those too who were enjoying Rohit's failure, please don't call yourself cricket fans. You just want your favorite player to do well, you got nothing to do with Team India. #SAvIND
— Harshit Gulati (@louisthe13thhhh) January 24, 2018
Rahane scored 9 Runs
And Got out 2 Times today
Cricket is a Funny game … Old stats doesn't really matter here#INDvSA
Pujara might not scoring much runs but he is still surviving well …
— 🇮🇳 ANK!T urf ABH! 🇮🇳 (@SRKpePHD) January 24, 2018
It's absolutely wrong to blame Rahane. While others have been below par throughout this series, you expect Rahane to come in and score big right away. Unfair! #SAvIND
— TheBalancingAct 🇮🇳 (@omkar1986) January 24, 2018
*If you think this dismissal means Rohit should have played, you are wrong. Thanks.*
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) January 24, 2018
First select an out of form batsman, make him your vice captain, take him on tour, don't play any warmup games, ignore him for first two Tests, select him for third and then judge on one innings… It's tough being Rahane! #SAvIND
— P₹akash $inha 🇮🇳 (@Predicto_Praky) January 24, 2018
Rahane ko pehle test me khilaaana chaiye tha overseas speacilist #SAvsIND
— Rahul bhardwaj (@RahulRahul317) January 24, 2018
How many runs rahane scored today after getting a life ? Lot's of people raises their fingers about Rohit….i think rohit should get another chance afterall ODI series knocking the doors..
— Arnab Dalui (@ArnabDalui2) January 24, 2018