Vikram Rathour has backed Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara despite their poor form saying that they are trying their best to regain their form. Rathour also added that both of them need to be given time to overcome the lean patch they are going through and make important contributions for India.
India are in a strong position at the end of fourth day in the Centurion Test. South Africa needs 211 runs to win on the last day while India need to pick the six wickets to get a winning start in the series. However, there is bad weather forecast on the last day and rain may play spoilsport.
For India, the form of two senior batsmen in the team, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara is a worrying sign. Rahane has managed just 479 runs in 2021 at an average of 20.87 while Pujara has 702 runs with an average of 28.08. Rahane did show some promise with scores of 48 and 20 in the Centurion Test. Pujara was dismissed on a golden duck in the first innings while he scored 16 runs in the second innings. India batting coach Vikram Rathour has backed both the batsmen despite their poor form saying that they are trying their best.
"As far as Pujara and Rahane are concerned, they are trying their best, they are giving their best. Rahane was in really good touch but unfortunately, he got out, so has Pujara," said Rathour in the press conference after the end of Day Four's play
"Pujara in past has played some important innings for us, you see these are challenging conditions, not many people have scored runs here. We need to be patient as long as they are trying their best, giving their best as coaching unit we are fine. Are we getting impatient? Not at this stage, I think," he added.
India have dismissed four wickets of the South Africa innings and the opposition is poised at 94/4 going into the last day of play. Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj picked a single wicket each while Japsrit Bumrah picked a couple of wickets. Rathour believes that India bowlers should bowl on same lengths consistently to win.
"This Test cricket, nothing is easy I feel, we still need to bowl well, we still need to bowl in the right areas. The way we bowled today, if we keep hitting those lengths consistently we will create lots of opportunities," he concluded.