India’s veteran wicketkeeper batter Dinesh Karthik believes Ajinkya Rahane could be dropped from the second Test match against New Zealand after Shreyas Iyer was able to grab his chance in his debut Test at Kanpur.
Iyer scored a fine knock of 105 runs in his maiden Test innings and became the 16th Indian player to score a century on debut.
Subsequently, Iyer scored a vital knock of 65 runs in the second essay and became the first Indian player to score a century and a fifty in his debut Test match.
On the other hand, Ajinkya Rahane continued to struggle with his poor form as he scored 35 and four runs in each of the innings and one again could not deliver the goods for the team. Rahane has scored 683 runs in his last 29 Test innings at an average of 24.12 since 2020 and has struggled to get going. Thus, Rahane could be dropped from the team’s playing XI in the second Test match as full-time skipper Virat Kohli will join the side.
Speaking in a discussion with Cricbuzz, Dinesh Karthik said: “With Shreyas Iyer coming in and doing so well, I think the pressure will obviously be on Rahane and he might be the one to be dropped. This has happened during a tour of South Africa when Rahane was dropped for a game before he again came back. There is no harm if Rahane’s dropped for a game.”
Karthik added that dropping Rahane won’t be a bad thing for the experienced batter as it will ease some pressure off him.
“Iyer has literally taken India to a safe zone in this Test on his own. He’s done really well. And it’s not like Rahane has not been among the runs in 1-2 Tests. It has been going on for a long time now. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing for him to be dropped. It will ease some of the pressure on him,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara has also struggled to get going for the team. Pujara has failed to consistently score the big runs and hasn’t scored a hundred in his last 40 Test innings. Karthik added that there is pressure on Pujara as well.
“I do think a similar sort of baggage is there on (Cheteshwar) Pujara too. He hasn’t got a hundred in a long time. And since the start of 2020, he too has averaged in the mid-20s. These are two players who have set their standards very high. They would know they haven’t performed according to expectations.”
The second Test match will be played in Mumbai from December 3.