The trio has averaged less than 30 since the start of 2020, and although Virat Kohli has still tuned in with some good bumps, it is the form of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane that is a bigger cause for concern, the former feels Indian seam bowler Ashish Nehra.
While Virat kicked in with an important 42 in the first innings of the running Lord’s Test, Pujara and Rahane endured another forgettable outing as they managed 9 and 1 respectively before James Anderson sent them off with the blunt line.
Ashish Nehra, more than runs, believes this is how the duo are getting, more worrying.
Cheteshwar Pujara fell once again while throwing on a wide delivery, and according to Nehra, the grim Indian number 3 is struggling to thwart the opposition bowler’s game of stomp-to-stumps for him.
“It’s not like it was two or three games. See, Virat Kohli has hit a few more half-centuries in the 40s, but Pujara and Rahane are the real worries, especially the way they get out. They are senior players, so it is clear that they know their game well. But in this case, it all depends on temperament and how it comes out of it, ”said Ashish Nehra on the Sony Sports Network.
Pujara has not scored a Test century since January 2019 and in his last ten innings his highest score was 21.
‘Against Pujara the bowlers devised this plan that because he did not score too many runs, we would throw a wicket-to-wicket line towards him to get him either bowled or LBW. “In this innings, Anderson bowled the sixth-seventh stump line to him to get him caught in the strips,” Nehra added.
As for Ajinkya Rahane, Nehra reckoned that while the vice-captain achieved a final score as stand-in captain against Australia in Melbourne, he failed to take on confidence.
Since the Second Christmas Day Test, Rahane has scored just 269 in 14 overs at an average of 19.21 with just one half-century.
‘With Rahane, this is the fourth and fifth stump line he goes to. “If you look at Australia, he scored a century in Melbourne, but given the performance before and after the century, it does not look like he has gained confidence in the innings,” he said.