It is no news that India was handed a humiliating defeat at Pune in the first Test against Australia. It was a reversal of roles for India as what they intended to do to the visitors, happened to them instead. Indian batsmen were not able to play spin bowling the way they were supposed to; it was a disaster as India had their worst batting display at home, getting bundled up twice for a total of 212 runs from 444 balls. Most of the batsmen performed poorly against the Aussie spinners but only Ajinkya Rahane found himself on the receiving end of rants that followed on Twitter.
Rahane deserved criticism for scoring 13 in the first innings and then throwing away his wicket for 18 in the second and that too, at a time when he was looking comfortable at the crease. As soon as the Test ended on Day 3, Rahane started trending on Twitter with cricket fans going on a tirade at him for a poor and irresponsible batting display.
Before the start of the series, there were talks around the town that triple centurion Karun Nair should get a berth in the side ahead of Rahane. But Indian skipper Virat Kohli backed Rahane as he considered his two year’s hard work ahead of Nair’s miracle innings against England at Bangalore.
Rahane silenced the critics when he scored 83 in the first innings against Bangladesh in one-off Test at Hyderabad but his performance against Australia was scrutinised heavily despite a batting collapse from the Indian side.
Rahane got out to the ‘wonder boy’ of Australia—Steve O’Keefe—in both the innings. In first innings, he was too defensive and in second innings, he tried to attack the ball too soon without playing himself in. For that, he needs to be criticised but declaring him an untrustworthy batsman after all that he has given to the Indian cricket isn’t a wise thing to do either.
A batsman who averages over 46 in Tests, with 8 centuries and 10 half-centuries in his bucket, and has saved India from several batting collapses, it was too harsh from fans to go on a tirade on him.
Although one must admit that Nair has made a name for himself after his splendid innings and there are chances that he might feature in the side in the second Test starting March 5 but Rahane has proved himself in the side over and over again. He deserves a second chance to silence the critics and these distasteful rants going around on Twitter.