Wriddhiman Saha batted for India in the second innings of the first Test versus New Zealand, scoring 61* off 126 to enable his team to set a total of 284 for the Kiwis.
In addition, usual Indian captain Virat Kohli will rejoin the playing XI for the second Test, which may compel the departure of one of Mayank Agarwal or Ajinkya Rahane. Former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer believes that captain Virat Kohli would make the decision on who to discard.
Jaffer further stated that Rahane has not produced runs in his past ten Test matches and that the experienced batsman may be forced to sit out the second Test. Jaffer even called the decision to bench Rahane a “tough call.”
Ajinkya Rahane hasn’t got enough runs in the last 10-12 Test matches: Wasim Jaffer
“It’s a toss-up between Mayank Agarwal and Ajinkya Rahane. I would think on those two. That’s the toss-up that Virat Kohli has to make. Whether he wants to go with Mayank Agarwal and give him another go or whether [he thinks] Ajinkya Rahane hasn’t got enough runs in the last 10-12 Test matches after that Melbourne Test so he goes out. It’s a tough call, definitely a tough call. It depends on whom the sword falls on,” said Wasim Jaffer.
Wasim Jaffer also stated that if Mayank Agarwal is omitted, India may bat first with Saha. The 43-year-old also stated that if Saha starts the innings, everyone else in the line-up may keep their spots. Jaffer finished by noting that this rearrangement is only temporary and would only applicable to the 2nd Test.
“I think I will open with Saha if at all Mayank Agarwal goes out because then everybody bats out of their position. Pujara will open and then Ajinkya Rahane will bat at some other position… If Saha opens then everyone bats at the same position“.
“And you can do that in Indian conditions with Wriddhiman Saha. Is it a long-term call? Definitely not because India will go to South Africa. So, they’ll have to reconsider their top-six for Mumbai,” concluded Wasim Jaffer.