End Of Road For Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara For India In Tests? Report Says Duo’s Slots “Now Belong To..”

Amidst the headline grabbing news on Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli missing the white-ball leg of Indian cricket team’s Tour of South Africa, there was another news about two veterans that got lost. Veteran stars Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara were not named in for the two tests that Indian cricket team will play in South Africa. Star pacer Umesh Yadav is also not part of the squad despite the fact that there are question marks over Mohammed Shami’s availability due to his ‘medical treatment’.

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara have been long-serving servants of India in Tests. In 85 matches in the longest format, Ajinkya Rahane has 5077 runs at an average of 38.46. He last played a Test match in July in West Indies. Cheteshwar Pujara has so far played 103 Tests and scored 7195    runs at an average of 43.60. He last played a Test in June against Australia.

According to news agency PTI, Ajinkya Rahane, who scored 89 in the World Test Championship final, has probably played his last Test along with Chesteshwar Pujara.

“The two slots that Rahane and Pujara had now belong to KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer. Also, Gill will bat in the middle order and Yashashvi will get a long rope,” PTI quoted a source as saying.

One of the veterans of the game, Rahane has done wonders for India whenever he has been asked to take up the leadership role. The manner in which Rahane led the team in 2019-20 Border-Gavaskar trophy, earned him plenty of plaudits.

But, since that campaign, it was all downhill for the right-handed batter. The BCCI selection committee’s decision to hand him the team’s vice-captaincy for the West Indies series wasn’t a decision that was welcomed by all.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly expressed his astonishment at the decision, suggesting Ravindra Jadeja would’ve been a better choice for the role.

“I won’t say it’s a step backward. You have been out for 18 months, then you play a Test and you become a vice-captain. I don’t understand the thought process behind it. There is Ravindra Jadeja, who has been there for a long time and a certainty in Test matches, he is a candidate,” Ganguly had told PTI after the Test squad for the Caribbean tour was announced.

India’s squad for Tests: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wk), KL Rahul (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Mohd. Shami*, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Prasidh Krishna.

Note: Mohd. Shami is currently undergoing medical treatment and his availability is subject to fitness.

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