Former Indian cricketer and selector, Sandeep Patil, made scathing remarks on Test specialist Ajinkya Rahane, regarding his batting approach in the recently concluded series against New Zealand, on Wednesday.
Rahane and Co. copped a fair bit of criticism for their cautious approach adopted on the green surfaces offered at Basin Reserve and Hagley Oval.
Even Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, condemned the ‘cautious’ approach of Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari, mid-way into the 2-match Test series.
The Indian batting unit failed collectively in all four outings in New Zealand, as they managed just a single score of above 200.
As a result, India, after being handed a 3-0 whitewash in the ODI series, ended up losing the Test series by 2-nil.
Patil traced Rahane’s slow batting approach to his stint with Mumbai this season. The former selector of the BCCI cited out ‘fear of failure’ as the main issue troubling the Mumbai stalwart.
“I heard about this (batting slowly) when he was playing for Mumbai this season. This happens due to the fear of failure. He has led India, he’s got a tremendous overseas record, but all that’s history. Now that he’s been labeled only as a Test player, been out of India’s limited-overs team, human nature is such that one wants to establish himself as a Test specialist. He’s trying to prove a point.” Patil explained.
In the recent series against New Zealand, Rahane averaged just 21.50, collecting only 91 runs in the four innings. Rahane’s watchful knock of 46 came off 138 deliveries at Wellington.
Subsequently, India’s number five in Tests scored a 75-ball 29, 27-ball 7 and 43-ball 9 in the remainder of the series as opposed to his counter-attacking batting model. Patil called out Rahane’s defensive batting method and compared him to a security guard.
“By doing that, you try to show that I’ll be technically correct. I’ll try to occupy the crease. If you want to just occupy,’ you can call a security guard! Who’ll score the runs?,” questioned Patil, while talking to TOI.
Later, Patil blamed coach Ravi Shastri and batting coach Vikram Rathor for the capitulation of Indian batting in New Zealand.
“If Rahane isn’t understanding this, what is Shastri, and the batting coach doing? If one batsman goes into a shell, the others follow, and the team suffers. Those who bats after such batsmen feel that the bowling is too good,” the 63-year-old concluded.