Former cricketer VVS Laxman has heaped praise on Ajinkya Rahane, calling the Indian Test vice-captain instrumental in India's batting line-up. Laxman, while presenting on Star Sports' show Game Plan, said Rahane is one of the best batsmen India has got at the moment and his services are going to be crucial during the five-match Test series against England. Rahane, according to Laxman, performs very well in foreign environments, highlighting some of his outstanding performances in England, Australia, and South Africa. Laxman, on the other hand, expressed concern that Rahane could falter against the English fast bowling attack if he doesn't change his game plan for short pitch deliveries.
Laxman highlighted how Rahane was set up by New Zealand pacers during the World Test Championship final, where he was forced to make a pull shot off a short pitch delivery by Neil Wagner. The former India international said Ajinkya Rahane must sort out his game plan against short pitch deliveries, adding "when you play at the highest level you must know when to play a pull shot and which balls to leave".
Rahane, who was not part of the warm-up match against County Select XI late last month, recently cleared the air on his injury. Rahane, while speaking to the press ahead of the first Test against England, said he had a small niggle before the warm-up match but now he is fully fit and ready to play again. When asked about India's opening pair and whether Cheteshwar Pujara could bat up the order, Rahane said the Gujarat cricketer is their best option for the number 3 position in Test cricket, adding "He will continue to bat at number 3".
The Indian Test team is presently preparing for the forthcoming five-match series against England, which begins on August 4. The India squad lead by Virat Kohli is currently based at the Trent Bridge Stadium, where the first Test is scheduled to take place. The series will also kick off the World Test Championship's next season. Both India and England will be eager to enter the field on August 4 and want their players to be at the top of their game.
India’s squad: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav.