After being dismissed for a duck in the second innings of the fourth Test at The Oval, Sunil Gavaskar has stated that Ajinkya Rahane has lost his confidence. Gavaskar further added that the India vice-captain’s confidence may have taken another hit when the batsman was demoted to No.6 in the match.
Indian batsmen displayed a brilliant show with the bat in the second innings of the fourth Test at The Oval. Opener Rohit Sharma (127) scored his eighth Test century while stitching a 153-run stand with Cheteshwar Pujara (61). Virat Kohli looked promising with the bat but he could not continue his good run further in the innings as he edged Moeen Ali to slip for 44. Rishabh Pant (50) and Shardul Thakur (60) played a crucial role to help India set a 368-run target for England.
While every other Indian batsman had a good start in the second innings, Ajinkya Rahane once again failed to impress with the bat. The 33-year-old scored a fighting 61 at Lord’s but he could not carry his good form further in the ongoing five-match Test series. Sunil Gavaskar stated that Ajinkya Rahane has lost confidence within himself, which was very evident through his shot selection before being dismissed for a duck.
"That was a bad shot for a man out of form to be playing across the line towards square leg. There is no way the ball was going to meet the ball. His confidence is shot. He was not confident before because he hadn’t scored runs apart from that 60 at Lord's. At Leeds, he hadn't got runs," Gavaskar said on The Sony Sports Network.
Earlier, Ravindra Jadeja was promoted to No.5 ahead of Ajinkya Rahane who batted at No.6 in both innings of the fourth Test. Rahane was dismissed for 14 and 0 in the Oval Test while batting at No.6. Gavaskar reckoned that India could have avoided sending Jadeja ahead of Rahane, which must have taken another hit on his confidence level.
"In the first innings, I had generally thought that Ravindra Jadeja was promoted over him because perhaps Rahane was on a toilet break. But now in the second innings as well, when Jadeja went ahead of him and it hasn't worked - what it's done to the psychology of a player is that it says 'look, we are not showing any confidence in you'. The confidence has to be shown. He is not scoring runs but he should be told that at No. 5, you are our batsman' not at 6. And that is what happened. No surprises, that he got out for 0," said Gavaskar.