Former India batsman VVS Laxman questioned India Test captain Ajinkya Rahane’s shot selection after his dismissal for 35 on Day 1 of the first Test between India and New Zealand at Green Park in Kanpur. Rahane got out while trying to play a cut shot against Kyle Jamieson but only to drag onto the stumps in the second session after the host won the toss and opted to bat first as well.
Following the dismissal of Mayank Agarwal, Ajinkya Rahane along with Shubman Gill steadied the ship and looked comfortable in the middle as well and later with Cheteshwar Pujara too in the post-lunch session. But, it didn’t stay long as the stand-in captain tried to cut a delivery that was bowled outside the off-stump and eventually got out.
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However, his poor form continued and it has come under the scanner too. While speaking to Star Sports, Laxman said that Rahane could have tried the angled-batted shot in overseas conditions but not in Kanpur.
“The moment AJinkya Rahane came into the crease, what did Kyle Jamieson do? He goes to short-pitch deliveries. We know Rahane has only one option against short-pitched deliveries, which is to play the pull shot. It was an instinctive shot that led to his dismissal. It’s okay to play besides the line in places like South Africa and Australia even if there is not much width, because of the bounce, you can hit through the square of the wicket,” he said.
“In Kanpur, you can’t play the ball where there is no bounce at all. You have to play with the full face of the bat, maybe a vertical bat. You can’t play with an angled bat,” Laxman again shared.
If you are playing with a 45 degree angled bat, you are asking for trouble – Simon Doull on Ajinkya Rahane
Meanwhile, former New Zealand pace bowler Simon Doull has said that Ajinkya Rahane faced the consequences by not going with a fully cross-batted shot against Jamieson after Lunch.
“If you are playing with a 45 degree angled bat, you are asking for trouble when there is invariable bounce. One will bounce and catch the top edge of your bat and one will not and maybe catch the under-edge. These sort of pitches, you see the chop-on quite often. We have seen 2 already today. One was a good delivery to Shubman Gill. But the one that got Rahane was not a great delivery and a fairly average shot when he looks back at it,” he explained.
However, India has finished the day at 258 for 4 with Shreyas Iyer (75*) and Ravindra Jadeja (50*) remaining unbeaten.