Sunil Gavaskar has stated that Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are not going to ‘rip off their shirts and create a scene if they are dropped. Gavaskar added that if an experienced batsman gets out in a similar manner continuously, the supporting staff should also be held responsible.
Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul gave the visitors the best possible start to the second Test against England at Lord’s. The duo built a 126 run stand for the first wicket to take India to a safe zone by handling the conditions effectively. James Anderson, however, responded for the English and dismissed the dangerous Rohit Sharma for 83 to deny his first century overseas. The Karnataka batsman at the other end still continued his good form to score a brilliant ton. Indian skipper Virat Kohli played his part in building a partnership with Rahul but was scalped by Ollie Robinson for 42.
However, the likes of Cheteshawr Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane disappointed once again as they failed again to score big. Pujara (9) and Rahane (1) have been having a drought since the home Test match against England at Chennai where they scored 73 and 67 respectively. The last time the No. 3 batsman scored a three digit score was back in 2019 against Australia at Sydney while Rahane has not crossed the three digit mark since his ton against Australia in December 2020 in Melbourne. The duo haven't crossed their Test average above 25 in 2021.
However, Sunil Gavaskar was not pleased with continuous criticism towards Rahane and Pujara and stated that experienced players would not make a scene even if they are dropped.
“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.
Gavaskar went on to express his disappointment with the Indian support staff as well. The Indian legend claimed that if Pujara and Rahane are succumbing in a similar manner match after match, the support staff bears some responsibility for the same as well.
“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.