Sunil Gavaskar reacts after Ajinkya Rahane plays a poor shot to lose his wicket in WTC final

Jun 20, 2021 08:21 PM IST

Sunil Gavaskar said the only explanation behind Ajinkya Rahane’s shot off Neil Wagner in the WTC final was that he was itching to get to his half-century.

Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar reacted after India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane played a disappointing shot off Neil Wagner that ended his innings on Day 3 of the India vs New Zealand World Test Championship final at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Sunday.

Sunil Gavaskar and Ajinkya Rahane
Sunil Gavaskar and Ajinkya Rahane

Rahane had done all the hard work in the first hour of the morning session on third day and just when he was looking set for a big one, the right-hander played a half-cock pull shot to a Wagner short of a good length delivery and provided a simple catch to tom Latham at square-leg.

Rahane fell one short of his 24th Test fifty.

WTC Final, India vs New Zealand live score

Gavaskar said the only explanation behind Rahane’s shot was that he was itching to get to his half-century.

“Only explanation is that he was going for his fifty, he was looking to get a single to reach his milestone by a little dab on the onside. In the end, the ball bounced and he couldn’t control, in fact, the ball before that too he couldn’t control it,” Gavaskar said in commentary.

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Credit must be given to the Kiwis too, especially captain Kane Williamson for setting up the trap and bowler Wagner for executing it perfectly. Rahane is known to be a compulsive hooker of the ball. He never shies away from playing the short ball whenever the ball is pitched short, which at times brings about his downfall like it did on Sunday in the WTC final.

Former India batsman VVS Laxman said Rahane needs to work out a method as teams now will set up a plan to bowl bouncers at him, hoping that would miscue a pull shot.

“It was the Same planning in Christchurch too. He (Rahane) needs to address this. Wagner forced Rahane to play a half-hearted pull shot. He will be disappointed with this. When I first came to international cricket, Sachin (Tendulkar) told me you have to know where your off stump is and you have to know how to leave the bouncers if the opposition knows you are a compulsive hooker, then they will target you,” Laxman said the post-lunch show on Star Sports.

India slumped to 211-7 at lunch on day three. Ravindra Jadeja was batting on 15 at the break with Ishant Sharma on two.

New Zealand claimed four wickets for 65 runs in the session but India would still be eyeing the 250-run mark which they believe would be a par score on this ground.

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