'He can't think Ajinkya Rahane has played 80 Tests so he knows his job': Maninder Singh's advice to coach Ravi Shastri
While analyzing his performance in an ESPNCricinfo show, the former spinner said that Shastri is a good motivator and that sometimes, even great players like Ajinkya Rahane need to be spoken to.
Former India cricketer Maninder Singh believes head coach Ravi Shastri must sit Ajinkya Rahane down and talk to him to get the batter in a positive frame of mind in order to help him get over his poor patch of form. India lost the third Test against England by an innings and 76 runs at Headingley and once again, Rahane turned out to be uninspiring with the bat.
In both the innings, he scored 18 and 10, respectively, and so far in three Tests, he has only scored 95 runs. While analyzing his performance in an ESPNCricinfo show, the former spinner said that Shastri is a good motivator and that sometimes, even great players need to be spoken to.
"I think there is going to be a lot of talk. Ravi Shastri is a good motivator and he has motivated this Indian team really well. That is why, probably, if you see their record since he has become coach, it has been pretty good.
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"I would be expecting Ravi Shastri to be a little over-active. Ajinkya Rahane has played 80-odd Test matches. But Shastri can’t think that he has played 80 Tests so he knows his job.
"Sometimes even great players need to be motivated. You need to sit with them, maybe take him out for dinner or something. You need to keep telling Rahane that he has done it before, he can do it again, and that he has got to be in a positive frame of mind. That is one department where all coaches need to be proactive," explained Maninder.
Maninder also opined that Virat Kohli and management will not drop Rahane despite his lean patch. He further stated that he is unable to fathom the tentativeness with which the Mumbai batsman is playing as his average abroad is much higher than that at home.
"Ajinkya Rahane has been very tentative and I really don’t know why. His average abroad is much higher than his average on Indian pitches. He has always scored runs. I don't know what's gone wrong where. But I don’t see him getting dropped or anything. Can’t see any change as far as the batting line-up is concerned.
"The only place that I can see a change in the Indian side is, probably, Ishant Sharma might go out and they might get a spinner in or, maybe, Shardul Thakur. That’s the only change I can see going into the next Test match. Rahane is going to stay."
England levelled the five-match series 1-1 on Saturday and the focus now moves to the Oval, which will host the fourth Test beginning on September 2.