While Rahane’s away average of 44.44 is commendable and he has contributed to memorable wins like at Lord’s in 2014 and MCG more recently, his 37.35 comebacks in India need to be corrected. This is an aspect of his playing that is difficult to decipher, given that most Indian drummers average over 50 in a familiar environment at home.
Rahane teammates Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, for example, have home averages of 67.42 and 59.31 respectively. The Mumbaikar, however, does not appear to be affected by these numbers. On the eve of the second Test, the 32-year-old expressed confidence that he will contribute to this series.
“I don’t need to worry about what happened in the first Test. It’s about what the team expects of me for this Test Match. I will contribute. confident, ”Rahane said.
He may perhaps consider himself unlucky for his layoffs on the first test. He perished after a superb catch from Joe Root in the first set, while a pointed James Anderson ducker with the old inverted ball won in the second.
Responding to criticism of his form at home, the 32-year-old referred to the 2019 season against South Africa and Bangladesh, where he contributed three half centuries and a century in six innings. The hundred came against South Africa at Ranchi as India hesitated at 39/3.
“We are playing at home after two years. We last played at home against SA (and Bangladesh) in 2019. If you take the last 10-15 tests away, you will see points there,” said Rahane.
Rahane will also feel reassured by the comments Kohli made after the first Test. “Along with Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya is and will continue to be our most important test hitter. He is an impact player,” Kohli said.
While Rahane doesn’t seem to have any obvious weakness against the Spinners, he hasn’t always seemed comfortable against them either. Against Englishman Moeen Ali, for example, Rahane came out five times in 10 tests and averaged less than 30.
Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra believes Rahane just needs a slight change of approach against the spin rather than looking for a major improvement.
“Rahane likes the ball to come to bat. That’s why he scored points abroad. He also scored points in India, but when you are averaging under 40 at home as an Indian batsman, questions are obviously being asked. Against the spin he needs to change his approach slightly. He has the game, as he showed against SA at Ranchi. In this round he was going out, driving and playing beautifully. But there are some innings where he didn’t do the same to find a way to put pressure on the spinners, ”Chopra told TOI on Friday.
With India 0-1 in the series, Rahane will be hoping to produce a timely big shot at home and help his team restore parity.