With Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in poor form in the ongoing Test series against South Africa, India wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik shared his perspective on the situation and explained that head coach Rahul Dravid would be “open to” dropping the duo. In the ongoing second Test for India, Pujara was dismissed on Day 1 after registering only three runs off 33 balls and Ajinkya Rahane lost his wicket for a golden duck on the next delivery itself. The visitors faced a major batting collapse but a half-century by KL Rahul and a 46-run knock by Ravichandran Ashwin helped them post 202 in 63.1 overs. Many fans were particularly left enraged with Rahane, Pujara’s performance and Karthik feels Dravid has to make a “couple of hard decisions”.
“I do think Rahul Dravid will have to make a couple of hard decisions and if that means dropping one of them or both of them, he will be open to it because he knows that they have been given a long rope before”, Karthik said on Cricbuzz.
He also explained that Dravid will need to analyze the situation as he took over the head coach role recently in November 2021 after India’s exit from the T20 World Cup.
“It’s been three Test matches now that he has been the coach and you don’t want to, you know in many ways, just you know set the ground ablaze by making big decisions right at the outset. So, I think he’s waiting, taking his time, trying to obviously assess what he can contribute to them in their careers”, he stated.
Karthik also pointed out that Rahane’s removal from Test vice-captaincy could be a sign for things to come.
“Obviously there was a hint previously itself when Rahane was removed from vice-captaincy. So, they are looking forward now. It was given to Rohit Sharma, but he is not there.”
Rahane hasn’t been able to register a half-century in his last nine innings in Test cricket and he also hasn’t bagged a ton in his last 25 innings. The batter last registered a hundred in the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Meanwhile, Pujara hasn’t smashed a ton in his last 45 innings and he last got one in January 2019 against Australia. He also hasn’t grabbed a half-century in his last seven innings in Test cricket.
In response to India’s first innings total, South Africa have also had a poor batting display and will be hoping to reduce the deficit.
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