Team India senior batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have struggled with their respective bad forms in the recent past. Many fans expected the duo to deliver in the ongoing Test series against South Africa. However, the bad patch for both batters continued when they came to bat during India’s first innings on Day 1 of the second Test against the Proteas at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.
Both Pujara and Rahane were dismissed at cheap scores by South African pacer Duanne Olivier, who is making his comeback in international cricket after an absence of nearly three years.
Olivier first removed Pujara, who looked to defend the ball which hit the shoulder of his bat, looping right into the hands of Temba Bavuma at the point region. On the very next ball, Olivier removed Rahane for a golden duck to complete his 50th wicket benchmark in the longest format.
After the dismissals of senior batters, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar opined that both batsmen have only one innings left, which is the second innings, to prove their worth and save their Test careers.
“After those two dismissals, one can say that they probably have just the next innings, both Pujara and Rahane, to save their Test careers,” said Gavaskar while doing commentary on Star Sports.
Gavaskar reckoned that many questions have been asked regarding the place of Rahane and Pujara in the team, and their dismissals have only added fuel to the fire. The Mumbaikar felt the second innings would be crucial for both batters to save their place.
“There have been questions asked about their place in the team, and now, with these two dismissals, they have just one innings left. If there is another innings and the way India is going, it looks like there will be another for them to score something and maybe keep their place in the team,” Gavaskar added.