After a dominant show by Team India in the T20I series against New Zealand in which they did not give their opponents any chance, winning the series 3-0, the team will now look to repeat the similar performance in the Test matches. The first of the two tests is set to commence on November 25 and while regular captain Virat Kohli will give this Test a miss, it will be Ajinkya Rahane who will captain the team.
However, former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir believes that Rahane is very fortunate to still be part of India's Test side in the first place. He added that Rahane should make the best use of this opportunity to regain his lost form. Gambhir also backed KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal to open in the two-Test matches, with Rohit Sharma being rested and Shubman Gill also in contention for the opener's spot.
Rahane’s got another opportunity now: Gambhir
"I am going to open with Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul because he opened in England and then probably Shubman Gill will bat at No. 4. Plus, Rahane is pretty fortunate that he’s still part of this side because he’s leading. But again, he’s got another opportunity now, hopefully, he can make that count," Gambhir told Star Sports.
As far as Rahane's form is concerned, he has been far from his best as he has only managed one fifty-plus score after scoring a ton in the historic Melbourne Test during India's last Border Gavaskar Trophy in 2020-21.
In his last 15 Tests, Rahane has accumulated 644 runs at an average of 24.76. To put things into perspective, Rahane's career batting average has fallen below 40 for the first time since November 2015. With senior batters Virat and Rohit both missing in the Playing XI in the Kanpur test, a lot will rest on Rahane's shoulders in the batting order.
Rahane was among those who congratulated the Indian T20I team when they completed the clean sweep of New Zealand. He was confident that the team has many such victories ahead of them.
"Many congratulations @ImRo45 for a wonderful start with the series victory yesterday. Many more to come!" the 33-year-old had tweeted.