Thursday, January 20, 2022

India Tour of SA: End of road for Rahane, Pujara & Ishant – time to blood in YOUNGSTERS in Indian Cricket

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India Tour of SA: End of road for Rahane, Pujara & Ishant –  Team India’s wait for a maiden series win in South Africa continues as Virat Kohli and Co. suffered to a 2-1 series defeat on Friday at Cape Town. Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Ishant Sharma who entered the series with a huge question mark regarding their futures did nothing to prove their selection and the team management will now look to blood in youngsters as India look to bounce back from their series loss. Follow Insidesport.in for all IND vs SA LIVE Updates.

Also Read: SA beat IND 3rd Test: India’s FINAL-FRONTIER stays unconquered, South Africa beat Virat Kohli’s team by 7 wickets, check highlights

India Tour of SA: End of road for Rahane, Pujara & Ishant – time to blood in YOUNGSTERS in Indian Cricket

India vs South Africa: Heading into the series as favourites, India got off to a perfect start but old problems started to creep up once again for the visitors with their middle-order collapsing during crucial junctures. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have struggled for runs in the past 18 months and landed in South Africa knowing that it could be the final shot at saving their career and holding onto their spot in the XI.

Captain Virat Kohli and head coach Rahul Dravid showed unwavering support to the two Indian veterans despite the presence of alternatives as Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari on the bench.

However, unfortunately, Pujara and Rahane barring a few glimpses of their potential did not live up to their promise and struggled to give India the platform to set a huge target against the Proteas.

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara scored 136 and 124 runs respectively in six innings, averaging 22.66 and 20.66 respectively. Both scored a half-century and a duck each in a forgettable series for the duo.

The three-test series just continues the worrying pattern of lack of runs from Rahane and Pujara, who have averages under 30 in the 12 months. Pujara hasn’t scored a Test hundred since January 2019, while Rahane’s boxing day hundred at MCG is the only innings of note the India No.5 has played in the last two seasons.

Cheteshwar Pujara’s struggles since 2020

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 14 26 1 0 6 3 91 702 28.08 34.18 8 0
2022 2 4 0 0 1 0 53 108 27.00 47.16 3 0

 

Ajinkya Rahane’s lack of runs since 2020

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 13 23 0 0 2 2 67 479 20.83 43.04 14 0
2022 2 4 0 0 1 1 58 68 17.00 68.00 0 0

 

India Tour of SA: End of road for Rahane, Pujara & Ishant – time to blood in YOUNGSTERS in Indian Cricket

India vs South Africa: With a huge pool of talent in the wings, the Indian team management will now look blood youngsters and prepare them for the rigours of Test cricket in the current World Test Championship cycle. Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari have already shown their capabilities to perform at the highest level, with the likes of Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav also pushing them for a spot in the XI.

As for Ishant Sharma, the Indian veteran did not get a single game in South Africa despite Mohammed Siraj suffering an injury in Johannesburg. Once an automatic pick in overseas conditions, Sharma has fallen behind the pecking order with Jaspri Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and even Shardul Thakur chosen ahead.

Also Read: IND vs SA LIVE- SHAME SHAME World No.1 India, EXTRAS scored more than Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane & Mayank Agarwal

Umesh Yadav was preferred for the 3rd test at Cape Town and given Sharma’s injury troubles, the time is ripe to groom a suitable replacement. The 33-year-old has featured sporadically, featuring in 15 tests over the last three years.

Ishant’s experience is invaluable to the bowling attack as a group, but with Bumrah and Shami having taken over the likes of Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Jaydev Unadkat and Navdeep Saini could all get a look in and add to India’s famed seam battery.

India Tour of SA: End of road for Rahane, Pujara & Ishant – time to blood in YOUNGSTERS in Indian Cricket

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