Ajinkya Rahane’s horror run against spin continues in India vs Australia Tests | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Ajinkya Rahane’s horror run against spin continues in India vs Australia Tests

Ajinkya Rahane has been brilliant overseas, but his home record has been spoiled by his weakness against spin. He has failed in the ongoing India vs Australia series

cricket Updated: Mar 05, 2017 08:58 IST
N. Ananthanarayanan
Ajinkya Rahane is stumped by Australia's Matthew Wade on Day 1 of the second Test in Bangalore.
Ajinkya Rahane is stumped by Australia's Matthew Wade on Day 1 of the second Test in Bangalore.(REUTERS)

As India prepared for the second Test against Australia after the heavy defeat in the opening match, one of the players in focus was their middle-order anchor, Ajinkya Rahane, and his trouble facing spin bowling. (Live Blog |Live scorecard)

Ajinkya Rahane, a picture of consistency while playing abroad, has struggled against spinners at home. In the current home season, he has fallen to slow bowlers 11 times. It has raised questions whether the batsman who is at home against the best quicks on bouncy pitches abroad, has a problem playing spin.

RAHANE DISAPPOINTS

On Saturday, as India were struggling on the M Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch after electing to bat, Rahane was expected to dig in. But unsure against off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who pitched it a tad short and got the ball to bounce and turn just that bit more, he repeatedly went down the wicket to get to the pitch.

Australia's captain Steven Smith, left, celebrates with teammates the dismissal of India's Ajinkya Rahane during the first day of their second Test in Bangalore, Saturday. (AP)

However, it ended in an ugly dismissal. Lyon fired one down the corridor just outside off-stump. Rahane went down the wicket and was beaten as he tried to check his shot, but even luck didn’t favour him as wicketkeeper Mathew Wade, who fumbled in his first attempt, completed the stumping in the second.

BACKING FOR SKIPPER, COACH

As he returned to the side following a finger injury during the England series, skipper Virat Kohli gave him the vote of confidence, saying newcomer Karun Nair will have to step aside despite his triple century in the Chennai Test against England.

Asked whether the Indian team, which had adopted the horses-for-courses policy over a period of time, will contemplate asking Ajinkya Rahane to sit out the Bangalore match, coach Anil Kumble dismissed the suggestion.

Australia's wicketkeeper Matthew Wade breaks the stumps to dismiss India's Ajinkya Rahane in Bangalore on Saturday. (AP)

“There’s no question of looking at dropping Rahane. He’s scored really well... He’s been extremely successful over the last couple of years. There’s absolutely no question about that.”

In the Pune Test, on a rank turner, India’s batting unit as a whole caved in against spin, with left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe finishing with 12/70.

But after his dismissal on Saturday, Rahane, the rock for India away from home, will have to seriously rework his technique against spin.