Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman reckons Ajinkya Rahane’s confidence will be affected if the team keeps on demoting him in the batting order.
Rahane usually bats at no.5 for the team but he was demoted one place as Ravindra Jadeja was backed to play at the same position in the first innings.
It was believed that it was a one-off thing from the team’s think-tank but the same was replicated in the second innings as Jadeja was sent ahead of Rahane. Jadeja has been in good form with the bat while Rahane has struggled to get going. However, both the batsman have each scored a solitary fifty in the ongoing series.
Furthermore, Jadeja hasn’t been getting a lot of time in the middle as he is mostly batting at no.7 and had to bat with the tailenders. Thus, Jadeja had to adopt an aggressive approach while batting in the lower order.
VVS Laxman said while talking to ESPN Cricinfo, “I think Ajinkya Rahane will bat at No.6 and then Rishabh Pant. Rahane is an experienced batsman and if you keep on demoting him, then it will affect his confidence. You want your experienced batsman to gain confidence.”
On the other hand, India is in a commanding position as they lead by 171 runs after Rohit Sharma scored 127 whereas Pujara scored a crucial knock of 61 runs on the third day’s play. The Indian captain Virat Kohli is batting unbeaten on 22 runs and Laxman is expecting a big score from the talisman to strengthen visitors’ position in the Oval Test.
“Virat Kohli was looking good in the second innings at Headingley as well as the first innings here. According to me, you can see a big score from Virat on Day 4. Virat Kohli the captain will know that if a target of 300-350 is given to England then India can win the game. So he will bat with that determination and he is definitely looking in rhythm and he won’t get a better opportunity. Rohit Sharma has scored a century and Indian fans will want that even Virat Kohli will get a big score. I am expecting a big score from Virat Kohli,” VVS Laxman concluded.
India will look to get a lead of more than 300 runs and Kohli will play a major role if the tourists are to strengthen their grip on the match. Furthermore, Ajinkya Rahane, who hasn’t been in good form, will also like to contribute to the lead.