The victory slipped from the hands of Team India in the Kanpur Test. Team India, who took 9 wickets, could not capture New Zealand’s last wicket in the last 52 balls and the Kiwi team drew the first Test. However, apart from the Test draw, a big issue arose as to which batsmen batsman would now get a place in the Mumbai Test once Kohli is back after Shreyas Iyer scored a century? Will Rahane (Ajinkya Rahane) get a place in the Mumbai Test despite his poor form? The answer to these questions was given by Rahul Dravid
Head coach Rahul Dravid said on Monday that Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, more than anyone else, is himself trying to find his rhythm by scoring big scores and it is just a matter of an innings for him. Rahane, who was leading the team in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, scored 35 and 4 against New Zealand. He averages less than 20 in 12 Test matches this year.
When Dravid was asked whether Rahane’s rhythm is a cause of concern for the team, he said, “There is no need to worry too much about it. Obviously you would like Ajinkya to score more runs for you, he himself would like that too. Rahane is a talented player and he has done well for India in the past. He is one of those people who have the skills and experience. It’s just a matter of one match, he knows it and we understand it too.
What will be the playing XI in Mumbai?
With skipper Kohli returning in the next Test in Mumbai, will Shreyas Iyer be dropped to make way for Rahane in the playing XI? Dravid said, ‘We have not decided what our playing XI will be and it is too early. At least today our focus was on this match. When we go to Mumbai, we will take stock of the situation and check the fitness of the people. Virat Kohli will also join together, so we will have to discuss with him and then take a decision. “It’s good to see youngsters do well on straight debuts and we have seen a couple of players in T20s as well who have made a mark in the opening matches,” he said.
Declaration delayed or not
Dravid said that the Indian team declared their second innings after judging the various scenarios . The team was first fully confident that now the time of danger was over and only after that they declared the innings.
Dravid said, ‘We needed that partnership (Saha and Axar Patel). Shreyas Iyer was out just before tea. After that we had a partnership. We went from 167/7 to 234/7. It was very necessary. As you can see, this wicket was very flat. Had it been spin and had bounce, the situation would have been totally different.
Saha (61*) and Axar (28*) shared an unbeaten 67-run partnership for the eighth wicket. After this, India gave a target of 284 runs to New Zealand to win.