Former Indian chief selector MSK Prasad has batted for India's vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and stated that people shouldn't forget his great displays in Australia when several seniors were absent from the team. He also added that he's a proven player and a better performer than most outside India.
Ajinkya Rahane has divided opinions like no one else in the last few years. In his initial few years, he was touted as potentially the best Test batsman in the country with his consistent displays in away tours. However, with time, not only his performances at home have turned questionable but also his away displays, which have been too inconsistent for a batter as senior and experienced as Rahane.
However, there's no denying the fact that Rahane as a stand-in skipper Down Under had done a terrific job as a leader and was crucial in the team's series win. His century at the MCG Test helped India turn a leaf and fight back in the series, which culminated in an unforgettable win eventually. Rahane, who has suffered a dry patch since the Boxing-Day Test, has found an avid supporter in MSK Prasad as the former Indian chief selector asserted that Rahane always stands up when the team needs him to or when Kohli fails with the bat.
"I think he is too good a player to start with. Of course, he has gone through lots of ups and downs (of late) but whenever the team has been in trouble, he rises to the occasion. He has that potential. The graph is a little up and down but I don’t foresee any drastic decision being taken by team management. He will come back strongly. He is a wonderful team-man and everybody likes him a lot. Whenever Virat hasn’t played a big inning, this man has stepped up. We must not forget how he delivered as a captain and a player in Australia when many seniors were absent," Prasad told cricket.com.
Rahane has always struggled at home with his average reading a mediocre 36.48, but the same number rises to 44.45 in away games. The former Indian chief selector added that Rahane is better than many Indian players in away Tests and there should never be unnecessary pressure on players like him or Pujara.
"He is a proven player and his overseas record is far superior to many of the Indian players and maybe at home, he has struggled a bit. We should not be putting unnecessary pressure on him. Again, We should not be putting unnecessary pressure on him. Someone like Rahane or Cheteshwar Pujara because they are true soldiers who have served Indian cricket wonderfully well for several years in the longer format. We should in fact back them.
"Such talents should never be sidelined as they are proven match-winners and complete players. Rahane is like a suicidal troop. He can go anywere to bat for the team," he signed off.