WTC Final: Sanjay Manjrekar criticizes Ajinkya Rahane, says ‘batsman got a string of low scores’: Team India’s vice-captain- Ajinkya Rahane played enterprising hands in India’s first innings of the ongoing World Test Championship Final between India and New Zealand in Southampton. Despite playing a valiant knock of 49-runs, Rahane fell prey to the criticisms of former cricketer turned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar.
While most batsmen fell prey to New Zealand’s pace battery, Sanjay Manjerakar questioned Ajinkya Rahane’s ‘tentativeness.’ Unlike other players whose confidence escalates after scoring a ton, Rahane‘s poise after his hundred against Australia in Melbourne has dipped in the words of Manjrekar.
“It’s just the same Rahane that we have been seeing for the last many years, barring one or two innings like that hundred against Australia in the Test that India won. After that, he had a drop of form. It is interesting because, after a hundred, your form generally takes off, you feel more confident. But he has got a string of low scores. I think he really applied himself, so credit to him for just going through the grind,” Sanjay Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
Unimpressed with Rahane’s form, Manjrekar added, “The thing about Rahane is that there is not one particular mode of dismissal for him in the last few years when he has got low scores. So, I have always associated his dismissals and low scores with his state of mind.”
WTC Final: Manjrekar assesses Rahane’s WTC Final dismissal in dismay
Disdaining Rahane’s soft dismissal of a poorly attempted pull shot caught by Tom Latham at square leg on Neil Wagner’s bowling, Manjrekar asserted that Rahane lacks commitment for the attacking shots. In fact, Kane Williamson and Neil Wagner set him up to play the pull shot after Rahane skied a previous attempt.
“As for the pull shot on which he got out, there was a lot of tentativeness and not the kind of commitment you see in Virat Kohli, or Rohit Sharma, or Shubman Gill or Rishabh Pant. The kind of commitment they have in their attacking shots,” Manjrekar added.
WTC Final: “It was an extension of Ajinkya Rahane’s play generally over the last few years of being a little unsure and tentativeness. It’s amazing he still contributes to India’s total and those 49 runs will be quite handy,” Manjrekar said.
WTC Final: Has Rahane actually lost the spark?
Despite Manjrekar’s criticism, Ajinkya Rahane’s contribution to Team India can’t be overlooked in the buildup to the World Test Championship. In fact, India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has scored the most runs in WTC for India with 1,095 runs in 28 innings at an average of 43.8, including three centuries and six fifties since 2019.