Former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar feels India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane always stands up for the team in crisis situations and is the one who scores on tough decks. Mark Butcher also praised Rahane's footwork and found his criticism unjustified in lead up to the second Test.
Ajinkya Rahane hadn't crossed the fifty-run-mark in Test cricket since his masterclass at the MCG where he had scored a match-winning ton for India. He had failed in the next four Tests and not able to capitalize on his starts. He had a poor Chennai Test as all he managed was one run in India's 227-run loss. But in India's first innings in the second Test, the right-hander batted wonderfully well alongside fellow Mumbaikar Rohit Sharma as they stitched together a big partnership of 162 runs for the fourth-wicket and they helped India reach 300 for 6 at the close of play on the first day of the Test in what was a tricky surface to bat at the Chepauk.
Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar was full of praise for Rahane as he termed him a 'reliable player' in 'crisis' for the country and also the one who scores on tough decks.
"That's what he has done. That's the kind of batsman and cricketer he is, learning from mistakes. He's somebody who is such a reliable player in a crisis for India. On tough pitches, he's the one who scores runs," Gavaskar said, reported HT.
On being asked the difference in this knock, Gavaskar analyzed, "I think his confidence. On the left side (examining Rahane's second-innings dismissal in the first Test), you see that his head is more outside the off stump, and therefore he's not able to judge where or how the ball is going to move. On the right side, you can see the foot also is going straighter and therefore when the ball comes in for you to make that late adjustment, it becomes straighter. But when your foot is moving straighter, you can still make that adjustment."
Former England batsman Mark Butcher also applauded Rahane for his fifty on day one and felt all the 'criticism' surrounding him weren't justified. He added that the right-hander's presence greatly helped Rohit Sharma in the middle.
“The criticism was a little bit unjustified. He got a beautiful, juicy full toss to get himself off the mark. Since then, he’s been so definite in his footwork than he was in the first Test match,” Butcher explained.
"We know that Rahane can sit back in the crease. He's a short man so he doesn't mind playing those cut shots outside off stump. He's been a great follow for Rohit. He has allowed Rohit in patches to go down the wicket in that session but Rahane was the one who kept things ticking along. If India score anywhere around 400, I think it's curtains, it'll be 1-1.”