Ajit Agarkar on Rahane and Pujara's future in Test cricket: 'You have players who can take their places'

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 15, 2022, 03:08 PM(IST)

India needs to take a call on Rahane and Pujara's future in Tests, as per Agarkar. Photograph:( AFP )

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Former India cricketer Ajit Agarkar feels Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara's future in Test cricket is in doubt after their flop show in the recently-concluded three-match series against South Africa.

Former India cricketer Ajit Agarkar believes the Indian team management needs to take a firm call regarding the future of senior batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. Both Rahane and Pujara have struggled with their respective forms in Tests for India in the last few years and have failed to score runs consistently.

The duo's lean patch continued in the recently-concluded three-match Test series against South Africa where they both failed to get going once again. While Rahane managed to score 136 runs in three matches against the Proteas, Pujara notched up only 124 runs in as many games in what was an abysmal display from the senior duo.

There have been calls over the exclusion of both Pujara and Rahane from India's Test squad with a number of youngsters waiting in the wings. The likes of Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari and Shubman Gill can all be slotted in the middle-order while Ruturaj Gaikwad and KS Bharat among others remain great future prospects for the country in the longest format.

Former India cricketer Agarkar said there are tough decisions to be made on Pujara and Rahane's future but India have talented players waiting in the wings to take their spots in the team. 

"There is no doubt that there is scrutiny on Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane and there has to be a discussion about that because you have players who can take their places. Certainly, there are tough decisions to be made, not only about Pujara or only about Rahane, but regarding both of them," Agarkar said during a discussion on Star Sports.

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"You have two players - Shreyas Iyer played a good Test in Kanpur and I don't think Vihari has done anything wrong whenever he has played Test cricket. You have Shubman Gill as well, so you have options," he added.

You have to decide what is best for the Indian team: Agarkar

Both Rahane and Pujara have been underperforming with the bat for quite a while now in Tests. However, they have been given a long rope by the selectors and the team management considering their experience and their contributions in the past.

However, Agarkar believes Pujara and Rahane's future should be decided for the larger good of the team as the duo look under pressure each time they walk out to bat in the middle. 

"It is not that you are doing this just because you have lost. We are seeing with both these players for quite some time that every time they go out to bat, we say they are under pressure, or it might be their most important innings, or their last innings in Test cricket and the way they are batting," said Agarkar.

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"You will have to decide what is best for your team. You will have to take those decisions and those decisions cannot be emotional, whether that player has played 150 Tests or five Tests. If a player is not taking the team forward, maybe those are the decisions you have to take," he explained.




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