IND vs NZ Live: As Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill deliver, pressure mounts on Pujara, Rahane duo ahead of South Africa tour

IND vs NZ Live: Pujara and Rahane under pressure- With Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill’s fifties, pressure now mounts on India stalwarts Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. The duo has failed to deliver for the past two years and on Thursday returned with 35 and 26 runs respectively. Another failure at home after Australia and England affect their chance of making it to the India tour of South Africa. Follow India vs New Zealand LIVE updates on InsideSport.IN

IND vs NZ Live: As Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill deliver, pressure mounts on Pujara, Rahane duo ahead of South Africa tour

IND vs NZ LIVE: Shreyas Iyer sends warning to Cheteshwar Pujara & Ajinkya Rahane with a half-century on Test debut

Both Pujara and Rahane squandered decent starts on a day when the willows of debutant Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill produced half-centuries against New Zealand in the opening Test here.

And the failure was against an attack that did not have the immensely talented and crafty Trent Boult, whose banana inswing in early morning moisture makes life difficult for batters.

Iyer’s arrival with a bang in the Test match scenario and Gill being back among runs, albeit as an opener, would certainly set alarm bells ringing for the captain (Rahane) and vice-captain (Pujara) in this Test match.

The Indian squad for the South Africa series will be announced in some days and even if the seasoned duo board that flight to Johannesburg, captain Virat Kohli, head coach Rahul Dravid and white-ball captain Rohit Sharma, who is an integral part of the red ball think-tank will have to take an enormous leap of faith to give them a whole series in the Rainbow Nation.

Also read: IND vs NZ: Shubman Gill impressed with Kyle Jamieson’s bowling, calls his post-lunch spell ‘top-notch’

Before KL Rahul got injured, Gill was being considered as a middle-order enforcer, an option they want to check out in the long term.

He played as an opener but Gill’s highest overseas first-class score on foreign soil is 204 batting at No.5 in the West Indies, when he was there with the A-team.

He is a youngster and would be ready to take on any role that the team wants. And Iyer has also passed his first Test with flying colours.

Yes, the track at Bull Ring, Kingsmead or Newlands won’t be a patch on Green Park but what Dravid and Kohli would have wanted to check out was how he reacts to a situation where there has been a middle-order collapse.

Without a doubt, Iyer has responded well and made a case for himself.

So if Gill and Iyer, both of whom have come through the ranks now push the door open, there are only two vulnerable slots at the moment — Pujara and Rahane.

IND vs NZ Live: As Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill deliver, pressure mounts on Pujara, Rahane duo ahead of South Africa tour

At 33, Pujara and Rahane are no longer the same players that India relied on to win games. While Rahane smashed his last century in December last year, Pujara’s century drought is ON since January 2019. Iyer would now look to go for a big hundred in his maiden Test in his bid to become a formidable part of India Test cricket.

Pujara in last two years

Year Mat Inns NO 100s 50s 0s HS Runs Avg S/R Ca St
2020 4 8 0 0 1 1 54 163 20.38 27.49 3 0
2021 11 20 1 0 6 1 91 591 31.11 33.47 4 0

 

Rahane in last two years

Year Mat Inns NO 100s 50s 0s HS Runs Avg S/R Ca St
2020 4 8 1 1 0 1 112 272 38.86 42.37 5 0
2021 11 19 0 0 2 2 67 372 19.58 40.88 12 0

 

IND-A vs SA-A: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Priyank Panchal ring alarm bells And wait? An India A team is playing in South Africa at the moment where Priyank Panchal has scored 96 and Abhimanyu Easwaran, at the time of this report, was batting on 80. Both are openers but given a choice won’t mind batting at No 3.

IND vs NZ Live: As Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill deliver, pressure mounts on Pujara, Rahane duo ahead of South Africa tour

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