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Pressure on Pujara, Rahane for SA tour

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Kanpur, Nov 25: Time is running out for Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane after another failure and this time, in reasonably conducive home conditions against an attack which wasn’t half as threatening as Australia and England.
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 which 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 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 red ball think-tank will have to take an enormous leap of faith to give them a whole series in the Rainbow Nation.
Gill and Iyer, both of whom have come through the ranks now push the door open, and there are only two vulnerable slots at the moment – Pujara and Rahane. Further, 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 and won’t mind batting at No 3.
Rahane’s average before this game was 19 in 11 Tests in 2021. In the case of Pujara, his dismissal was a replay of what has been happening for two years now. James Anderson got him in England this season with a similar delivery during the Test series in August.
A ball that moves in the air and one shapes to play inside the line while it lands and then moves away, forcing the batter to dangle his bat and get a feel of the ball. 99 out of 100 times, there will be an edge and it was no different on Thursday. (PTI)

The post Pressure on Pujara, Rahane for SA tour appeared first on The Shillong Times.

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