It Will Probably Be Rahane Who Will Make Way For Kohli: Daniel Vettori

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Kohli and Rahane
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Former New Zealand bowler Daniel Vettori believes Ajinkya Rahane has to give way for Virat Kohli in the 2nd Test versus New Zealand, which begins on December 3 at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

Rahane has struggled in the longest format, averaging less than 25 in 2021, and has been unable to improve that in the Kanpur Test despite replacing in for captain Kohli, who was rested. Rahane made 35 off 63 in the first innings but refused to turn that beginning into an innings of depth when he nicked on a Kyle Jamieson delivery onto his stumps, while in the 2nd innings he was caught lbw by spinner Ajaz Patel for only 4 to extend his depression.

I think it’s hard to drop Iyer who has scored a century on Test debut: Vettori

Even if Rahane is omitted for the Mumbai Test following Kohli’s comeback, Daniel Vettori believes it would not be the end of his Test career, but he advises on holding out Shreyas Iyer, who hammered a century on debut becoming the 16th India to do so.

I still think Rahane is still a solid player. He looks like he wants to be aggressive; the way he is playing doesn’t feel tentative. but he is getting out. In a lot of ways, being dropped and having the ability to come back and resettle everything as a batsman, particularly at the Test level, can weigh you down,” said Daniel Vettori.

If they [Indian team management] leave him out of the next Test match, I don’t think it will be a death-knell for his career; it will just be a one-Test dropping, because it just resets everything, gives him a chance to go back and do a bit of work“.

I think it’s hard to drop someone [Iyer] who has scored a century on Test debut against a quality side. So, it will probably be Rahane who will make way [for Kohli],” he added.

It’s tricky to drop a player who captained the team in the first Test: Jaffer

Vettori’s co-panelist and former India opener, Wasim Jaffer remarked that Rahane would be frustrated for not being positioned to exploit his beginning in the first innings, but called the decision to withdraw him for Kohli as “tricky,” particularly given that he led the side in his absence.

He would be more upset with the start he got in the first innings and [he] did not convert it into a big one, because [in] the second innings, anytime when you bat on the day-four or day-five wickets, it is hard work. But the first innings, when the conditions were good for batting, that’s where I think he would be upset for not getting a big score,” Jaffer said.

It’s going to be a big question, ‘who goes out when Virat Kohli comes in’, and what kind of combination India goes with, because Mayank [Agarwal] has not got runs, Ajinkya [Rahane] has not got runs, [Cheteshwar] Pujara has not got runs.”

When asked if India will follow through on the decision to drop Rahane, Jaffer reacted cheekily: “In India, when the batsman is out of form, the bowler sits out. So, you might see four bowlers playing in Wankhede. It’s tricky to drop a player who captained the team in the first Test, you will think twice before dropping him in the second,” Jaffer added.

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