'Good part is you're one inning away': Zaheer shares key piece of advice for 'under pressure' Rahane ahead of SA series
- The South Africa Test series might be Rahane's final opportunity to reclaim his status as a mainstay middle-order batting option in the Indian line-up
Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan believes that while Ajinkya Rahane might be "under immense pressure" ahead of the the three-match Test series against South Africa, he also feels that the veteran batsman is only an inning away from bouncing back to form.
Talking to Times of India about Rahane's struggle at the crease, Zaheer feels that he needs to be mentally tough to deal with the issue and believe that you are only one good score away from shrugging all these off.
"There have been mixed performances for Ajinkya Rahane. There is no doubt about it. He is under immense pressure. That is the fact. For any cricketer, to go through this kind of phase, you've got to have that mental toughness to come out of it. The good part is that you are still there and you are one inning away. As a batsman or cricketer, you should have such a belief," he said.
Rahane averages only 24 in the last 16 Tests which does include that century in Melbourne last December against Australia. His scores of 35 and 4 in his last appearance, in the home series against New Zealand, saw the veteran's career average fall to 39.01, the lowest he has registered since February 2014.
Looking back at his own career, Zaheer then shared a key piece of advice for Rahane ahead of the start of the series, asking him to accept the challenge and face them head-on.
"Through my personal experience, if someone is going through a rough patch, you've got to have that belief that you are just one inning or one good knock away from that good performance. If you hit that, things change very fast as well. This is what I would advise Ajinkya at this stage. As a cricketer, you need to accept these challenges and take them head-on," Zaheer added.
The South Africa Test series might be Rahane's final opportunity to reclaim his status as a mainstay middle-order batting option in the Indian line-up amid competitions from Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari and Shubman Gill.