VVS Laxman stated that two of India’s experienced Test batsmen, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara are making the same mistakes continuously. The Indian batsman-turned-commentator also added that there are youngsters waiting to take the spot in the middle order if the batsmen fails to score.
In the ongoing Test against England at Lord’s, the Indian side were bowled out for 364 runs, losing their last seven wickets for only 88 runs. The opening batsmen Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul put up a good foundation as the latter went on to score a brilliant hundred at the historic venue. The Indian middle-order failed to build on the platform provided by the opening duo. Indian skipper Virat Kohli also did well with his 42 runs and had formed a big partnership with centurion KL Rahul.
Earlier in the first Test in Nottingham, the duo failed miserably to score runs as they continued their drought for runs in 2021. Pujara and Rahane’s averages have nosedived into 20’s as they are repeating the same mistakes match after match. In the ongoing Test against England at Lord’s, Pujara(9) and Rahane(1) disappointed once again in the first innings. So far in 2021 Pujara has made 389 runs at an average of 28 and Rahane is nearly at 20 with 261 runs. It was Rishab Pant and Ravindra Jadeja who took the role of rescuers.
VVS Laxman feels that the experienced Test batsmen, Pujara and Rahane are making the same mistakes match after match. The former veteran batsman also added that the duo has to improvise their batting technique.
“A mixture of technical issues and eagerness to score. We saw even in the first innings at Nottingham, the way he was restless till the time was there on the crease, eventually he was run out. Even today we saw very very tentative footwork. Whenever you are indecisive, whenever you are trying to look at the outcome instead of concentrating on the ball, you always tend to reach out for the ball,” Laxman told ESPNCricinfo.
“Both Rahane and Pujara will be disappointed that they are repeating the same mistake, which has led to their dismissals in the last 8-10 months. We saw Rahane getting out in a very similar fashion in Australia. Today, if you see the replays very closely you will realise that he was late on the ball. His left foot was still in the air, there was no transfer of body weight,” Laxman said, explaining the technical issues with both the right-handers.
The Indian batsman-turned-commentator hoped that the pressure does not catch up with Rahane and Pujara, as they have to regain their form to play in the remaining matches in the series.
“I hope the outside noise is not playing on the minds of Pujara and Rahane.
The likes of Hanuma Vihari and Mayank Agarwal are waiting at the doorstep to receive a call to the playing XI against England in the following matches. Laxman feels that, if the experienced batsmen are not going to rectify their mistakes, there are youngsters waiting to fill the spot.
“There is always more pressure on established players because there are youngsters waiting to take your spot. That pressure keeps getting more with each low score,” he added.