Ajinkya Rahane replacement: While the chances are few but here are three batsmen which India could consider as their vice-captain’s replacement.
As England and India will square off with each other in the fourth Test at Kennington Oval from tomorrow, several selection headaches exist before the Indian team management. With India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane being out-of-form, captain Virat Kohli has to decide if he wants to persist with Rahane at No. 5 or not.
Since his century against Australia in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG last year, Rahane has only scored two half-centuries in a total of 18 Test innings. Let’s have a look at the possible replacement of Rahane in test eleven of India for the upcoming test match at Kennington Oval.
Ajinkya Rahane replacement
Andhra batsman Hanuma Vihari is an experienced complainer in first-class cricket with an excellent average of 55. However, his 624 Test runs have come at an average of 32.84. Despite that, Vihari has a strong case for his comeback as him being a spin-bowling option can aid Kohli in changing India’s bowling combination.
Among all English venues, The Oval is the most known for assisting spinners. Since the start of 2016, Oval has been the best ground in England for spinners with their combined average and strike rate of 29.52 and 52.4 respectively.
Moreover, The Oval is the worst ground in England for seamers from 2016 with their collective average of 32.38. This makes Vihari a favourable replacement option in place of Rahane in playing eleven as he can offer some spin bowling.
Having scored 1,052 runs at an average of 45.73 including three centuries, India opening batsman Mayank Agarwal has a very fine Test record for India. Had it not been for a concussion injury before the first Test at Trent Bridge, Agarwal would’ve started as Rohit Sharma’s opening partner in this series.
All Aboard! Full steam ahead🚉
Leeds ~ London pic.twitter.com/j3SphQqVgK
— Mayank Agarwal (@mayankcricket) August 29, 2021
With Lokesh Rahul grabbing the opportunity of opening alongside Sharma with both hands, Agarwal is again second in the pecking order. Essentially an opening batsman, Agarwal has played in the middle-order once in his Test career. Agarwal’s inclusion could also push Kohli to opening with him and push Rahul to No. 5 as he was being considered as a middle-order batsman before the start of the series.
Suryakumar Yadav is a very talented batsman who made his white-ball debut for India earlier this year. In first-class cricket, Yadav has piled up 5,326 runs with at an average of 44.01 comprising of 14 centuries.
With Vihari above him in the pecking order, it is unlikely for India to hand Yadav a Test debut tomorrow. However, the visitors could try the same in the name of playing a left-field attacking option in the middle-order.