Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Photo of Ajinkya Rahane(Twitter)



India’s batting collapse on the third day of the pink Test in Adelaide has opened the gates for strong criticism from experts and fans. Despite taking a handy 53-run lead, Virat Kohli & Co folded up like a pack of cards, registering their lowest score in Test cricket – 36/9 against Australia on Saturday.

None of the Indian batters could score in double digits. Skipper Virat Kohli ended up with 4 off 8 deliveries while his deputy, Ajinkya Rahane departed for a 4-ball duck. Former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar was disappointed with the Indian vice-captain who failed to take the onus after the top-order was dismantled by the Aussies pacers.

Speaking on Sony Sports, Manjrekar pointed out Rahane’s poor shot selection. The cricketer-turned-commentator stated that the team would expect more from an experienced player like him when they are trouble.

“Ajinkya Rahane is interesting. Look at his front foot. He wants to get forward, the confusion is in the length. Virat Kohli commits himself forward, and Rahane wants to get forward. You are sort of putting your bat there and hoping the ball touches the bat,” Manjrekar said.

“Having said that, Ajinkya Rahane has 80 (66) Tests now under his belt. If at all, there is a batsman that India want in a situation like this, you have got to expect more from Rahane in situations like this. More than people like Hanuma Vihari, for example,” he added.

Manjrekar heaped praises on the Aussie quicks Josh Hazlwood and Pat Cummins who shared 9 wickets among each other to nullify India.

“The first on the first half of Day 1 was sluggish but on Day 3, it quickened up. Tells you a lot about the Australian pitches, plus you have the seam movement as well. Hazlewood, what a bowler. Pat Cummins was brilliant as well,” Manjrekar said.

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