VVS Laxman questioned stand-in India captain Ajinkya Rahane's shot selection after he yet again failed to capitalize on a good start and was dismissed for 35 on Day 1 of the ongoing first Test against New Zealand at Green Park in Kanpur on Thursday (November 25).
The 50th over of India’s innings was quite an eventful for Rahane, as the stand-in captain had been given out by on-field umpire Nitin Menon for nicking to the wicket-keeper on the leg-side, but he went for DRS and was given a new life by the third umpire after the replays confirmed there was no inside edge.
Well, Rahane survived, but he couldn’t make use of that reprieve, as the right-hander was dismissed by Kyle Jamieson in the very next ball for 35 off 63 balls on Day 1 of the ongoing first Test in Kanpur.
Jamieson bowled a harmless length delivery outside the off-stump and Rahane tried to play a cut shot, but he was undone by the low bounce of the pitch, as the stand-in skipper got an inside edge back onto his stumps to hand the lanky Kiwi pacer his third wicket on Thursday.
It seemed that Rahane wanted to force things with hard hands instead of just using Jamieson's pace and bounce to guide the ball through the gap and he paid the price and Laxman said that the veteran batter should have avoided playing that angled-batted shot in Kanpur.
Laxman told Star Sports, “The moment AJinkya Rahane came into the crease, what did Kyle Jamieson do? He goes to short-pitch deliveries. We know Rahane has only one option against short-pitched deliveries, which is to play the pull shot. It was an instinctive shot that led to his dismissal.”
He further explained, “It's okay to play besides the line in places like South Africa and Australia even if there is not much width, because of the bounce, you can hit through the square of the wicket. In Kanpur, you can't play the ball where there is no bounce at all. You have to play with the full face of the bat, maybe a vertical bat. You can't play with an angled bat.”
Meanwhile, former New Zealand pacer Simon Doull also felt that Rahane himself invited trouble by not going with a fully cross-batted shot against Jamieson in the first innings in the ongoing first Test.
Analyzing Rahane’s dismissal, Doull said, “If you are playing with a 45 degree angled bat, you are asking for trouble when there is invariable bounce. One will bounce and catch the top edge of your bat and one will not and maybe catch the under-edge.”
He signed off by saying, “These sort of pitches, you see the chop-on quite often. We have seen 2 already today. One was a good delivery to Shubman Gill. But the one that got Rahane was not a great delivery and a fairly average shot when he looks back at it.”