SA v IND 2021-22: I can’t discuss their future, you should ask selectors instead- Kohli on Rahane and Pujara

Rahane made 136 runs and Pujara made 124 runs in SA Test series.

Rahane made 136 runs and Pujara made 124 runs in SA Test series | GettyIndian captain Virat Kohli refused to discuss the future of veteran batters Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara in the Test team after the visitors lost the third Test match against South Africa and lost the series 1-2 as well.

Pujara and Rahane failed in five out of six knocks and haven't made any tangible contribution throughout the year, save a knock here and there. Pujara is without a Test century since Sydney 2019, while Rahane made just one in the period of time, against Australia in MCG in 2020.

While they received the backing of the Indian team despite poor returns against England and New Zealand in the recent series, the duo failed to put justify the long rope given to them by the BCCI selectors as well in South Africa.

Rahane made 136 runs in 6 innings with one fifty and Pujara tallied 124 runs with one fifty as well. Both had put on a century stand in the second Test in Johannesburg, which India lost, but either side of that innings, it was a sorry tale for both the batters.

SA v IND 2021-22: Indian cricket fraternity calls for changes in Team India after Test series defeat

Now, with India scheduled to face Sri Lanka at home in two Tests, Virat Kohli was asked about the future of the duo, but he refused to clearly comment on the issue.

"I cannot sit here and talk about what's gonna happen in the future. That's not for me to sit here and discuss. You probably have to speak to the selectors, what they have in mind. This is not my job,” Kohli said when asked what message is being given to younger players waiting in the wings to replace Rahane and Pujara.  

"As I have said before, I will say again, we will continue to back Cheteshwar and Ajinkya because of the kind of players they are, what they have done in Test cricket for India over the years, playing crucial knock in the second innings (in Johannesburg) as well. These are kind of performances we recognize as a team," the skipper said.

And then it came with a rider. "What the selectors decide to do, I obviously will not comment sitting here," he said.

Pressure has been built on the two batters since the rise of Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer, who have done amazingly well for India in recent times and are younger than Pujara and Rahane. It remains to be seen whether they are given another chance at home or the young guns get their due.

(PTI inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 14 Jan, 2022

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