Rahane and Pujara failed to deliver once again in the second Test against South Africa. Photograph:( AFP )
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes senior batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have only the next innings to save their respective Test careers.
Former India captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar believes both Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have only one more innings to save their respective Test careers. Pujara and Rahane were both dismissed cheaply once again in the ongoing second Test between India and South Africa at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Monday.
Pujara and Rahanve have both been under fire for quite some time now over their long-standing rough patch with the willow. Despite their inconsistent run, the senior batters have been constantly backed by the team management. However, their time might be running out with an intense competition for spots in the batting line-up.
The likes of Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill among others are waiting in the wings as both Rahane and Pujara continue to underperform. On Monday, Pujara was dismissed on just 3 runs after facing 33 balls as he ended up getting caught by Temba Bavuma against Duanne Olivier.
The South African pacer then went on o remove Rahane on a duck on the very next delivery. With two consecutive wickets on two deliveries, India were left reeling at 49/3 after the duo's dismissal. Reacting to another failure from Rahane and Pujara, Gavaskar said the senior batters have only the next innings of the ongoing Johannesburg Test to save their Test careers.
"After those two dismissals one can say that they probably have just the next innings, both Pujara and Rahane, to save their Test careers," said Gavaskar on-air while commentating during Day 1 of the second Test.
"There have been questions asked about their place in the team and now with these two dismissals, they have just one innings left. If there is another innings and the way India is going, it looks like there will be another for them to score something and maybe keep their place in the team," the batting great added.
Openers Mayank Agarwal (26) and captain KL Rahul had given a good start to India in their first innings of the Johannesburg Test. However, the visitors lost the momentum after losing Mayank in the 15th over. His departure was followed by Pujara and Rahane's dismissal in quick succession.
However, captain Rahul is still out in the middle and has displayed amazing gritiness so far in his innings and is still unbeaten in the middle to help India recover from the middle-order collapse.