Rahane’s slump not a concern yet for Team India

Ajinkya Rahane’s place in the India Test squad has come into question following a string of low scores in England but batting coach Vikram Rathour said they are not overly worried about the vice captain’s form slump.

Rahane has a combined 109 runs from seven innings in the ongoing five-Test series against England, eight fewer than number eight Shardul Thakur scored in the fourth Test alone.

Former Test player VVS Laxman echoed comments in Indian media suggesting Rahane should be dropped before the final test in Manchester but Rathour said the middle-order batsman would come good if he got the right support.

“When you are playing cricket for a such a long time you will have phases where you will not get runs,” Rathour said after Sunday’s play at the Oval.

“That is the time as a team we need to back them and support them as much as we can.

“We are hoping that Ajinkya will get back into form and he will still play a major role in Indian team’s batting. I don’t think we have arrived to that point that it should become a concern.”

Rahane, who led India to a series victory in Australia earlier this year when regular captain Virat Kohli was on paternity leave, has now gone 20 innings without a test hundred.

That has prompted questions about his technique but Rathour said it was not the right time to pick holes in the 33-year-old’s batting.

“There is time and place to work on technique, I don’t think it is mid-series or mid-game,” he said.

India sent in Ravindra Jadeja ahead of Rahane, who usually bats at number five, in both innings of the Oval Test but Rathour said it was because they wanted a left-right combination in the middle order.

“Jadeja was batting with a lot of control so as a team we wanted to see how it affects our balance and momentum in the middle … Whether it would be a long-term plan, we will have to wait for that,” he added.

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