After Ajinkya Rahane’s poor run in the Test series against England, Virender Sehwag has stated that the India vice-captain deserves a chance in the home conditions as well. He further added that if only Rahane does not perform well in the future home series, he should be shunned from the squad.
India outplayed England to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match Test series before the last Test in Manchester was cancelled due to Covid concerns. Throughout the series, the Indian middle-order batsmen failed to make use of the momentum created by the openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. The low-order batsmen displayed great resistance throughout the series which helped India to put up competitive totals against the hosts.
While Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli showed some signs of returning to form, Rahane failed to score in the series barring his half-century at Lords. The India vice-captain averages just 19.57 in 11 test matches played in 2021, with two fifty-plus scores to his name. His overall Test average has dropped below 40 during the Test series against England in which he could only manage 109 runs at an average of 15.57. Cricket experts and fans around the world raised their voices to drop Rahane from the playing XI citing his poor performance with the bat. However, Virender Sehwag has batted for Rahane and stated that he should be given another chance in India.
"I feel when your overseas tour goes bad, you should get a chance in India as well because this comes once in four years but you will play a series in India every year. If the series goes bad in India, then I will understand that the form which was bad overseas is there here as well, then he deserves it now," Sehwag had said on the Sony Sports Network.
"I have seen many great players who have not done anything for 8 or 9 Tests, not even a fifty and they still were persisted with, and the result was that they performed going ahead and scored 1200-1500 runs in a year in Test cricket," he added.
The former Indian opener is of the opinion that if Rahane should be "thanked" and asked to pack his bag only if he fails to perform in the next home assignment of India.
"Everyone goes through a bad phase. The question is how you behave with your player in a bad phase, whether you back him or leave him. According to me, Ajinkya Rahane should get a chance when the next series happens in India. If he doesn't perform there, you can say - thank you very much for your contribution," the former India opener asserted.