Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar was not pleased with the continuous criticism meted out towards experienced Indian batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. Both Pujara and Rahane have not been at their best in the last couple of years. Considered to be the pillars of India’s middle-order along with captain Virat Kohli, Rahane and Pujara have been averaging in the 20s this year.
There were a lot of talks about Pujara and Rahane’s place in the Indian side ahead of the England series but both of them managed to hold on to their positions for the first two Tests without giving the desired results.
Pujara got 4, 12*, 9 in the three innings in England so far while Rahane scored 5 and 1. Gavaskar, however, pointed out that none of the Indian batters barring openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have been scoring runs consistently.
“He was the highest run-scorer for India at the WTC final with 49. So nobody else has scored runs in this period, to be honest, but questions have been asked only about two cricketers. They are low-profile cricketers. They are not going to rip their shirt off and create a scene (if they are dropped),” Gavaskar said on Sony Sports Network.
Much was expected from Rahane and Pujara after Rohit (83) KL Rahul (129) put India in a commanding position in the second Test match against England. But both of them got out cheaply in identical fashion to James Anderson. Pujara pushed at a delivery to end up nicking it for 9. Rahane fell on his first ball of Day 2 for 1 off 23.
Gavaskar said if these two experienced players are getting out in the same manner match after match then questions must be asked of the support staff too.
“Just let Ajinkya Rahane play. Yes, if he does not score runs here there is cause for concern but that cause for concern has to be regarding his technical abilities, with Pujara as well. The way he has got out in Australia playing down the wrong, being beaten by the outswinger nothing has changed as far as that is concerned. So what is happening? Who is the one to take care of it? Not just with Pujara. There’s a staff there. If you are getting out in the same manner, then there is something wrong not just with your technique but also the guys who are supposed to help you,” Gavaskar added.