Former In the batsman VVS Laxman spoke in the middle order before the Test series on India’s issues England. The two batsmen he focused on were Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, both of whom were recently scrutinized.
Since his amazing tour to Australia in 2018/19, Pujara has yet to play the big innings of which he was known. He has taken 18 Tests without a Century and averages 28; the criticism surrounding his strike rate still prevailed.
VVS Laxman reckons India needs Pujara to play the kind of role that Rahul Dravid used while batting at number 3 to provide a platform for batsmen coming after him.
‘There is no doubt that Pujara will keep an eye on the slim point he is going through, in terms of the big fifties or the hundreds, and you expect a lot from Pujara in the number 3 position, because it is a very important position with both the openers, ”VVS Laxman said while speaking to Star Sports.
‘In 2002 and 2007 the reason for our victories on the two tours was because our top order and our batsman no. 3, Rahul Dravid, was fired. ‘Once the highest order has laid a very good foundation, the batsmen of the middle order can come and play their natural game, and while doing so, you place a very healthy total in the first innings and always determine the terms,’ he added.
Opposition bowlers tackled him with a deluge of short deliveries: VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman further emphasized that the vice-captain had problems with the short balls. He suggests that Ajinkya Rahane be judicious with his hit shots, and to swing away from the deliveries is a good option to survive. Despite his reputation as an overseas specialist, Rahane does not boast a healthy record in England.
‘Ajinkya Rahane is a very important member of this Indian batting line-up, especially in overseas conditions. ‘I still remember the way he beat at Lord’s, in Melbourne, and also the way he beat in South Africa, contributed to India winning the Test matches,’ he said.
‘The only thing I feel Ajinkya Rahane needs to sort out is his game plan against short-range deliveries. We saw that in the series against New Zealand we also saw it in the final of the World Test Championship. ”
‘It was almost the game plan of the opposition bowlers to set him up with an avalanche of short deliveries, and Ajinkya Rahane has only one option, namely to play the pull sound, but if you play at the highest level, you need to know also which ball should play the pull shot and which ball to let go, ”VVS Laxman concluded.
Rahane’s participation in the first Test has not yet been confirmed. He is recovering from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the three-day warm-up game earlier. The opening test is on August 4 at Trent Bridge.