IND vs NZ | Rahul Dravid might act as a catalyst for Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara , says DInesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik has stated that India head coach Rahul Dravid might act as a catalyst for the test careers of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. The duo have been struggling with poor form as Rahane hasn’t scored a century since December 2020 while Pujara hasn’t scored a ton since 2019.

India recently inflicted a clean sweep over New Zealand in a three-match T20I series and the Test series between both of them started from November 25. India managed a total of 258/4 after Shubhman Gill, Shreyas Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja scored half-centuries in the innings. Ajinkya Rahane scored 35 runs while Cheteshwar Pujara could manage only 26 runs. The duo have been struggling to find their rhythm in the longest format of the game.

“Rahul Dravid knows the value of someone like Pujara or Rahane. I think somewhere, the quality of Rahul Dravid will come out through these two batters because they have very similar methods and styles of play. So maybe, he feels that he can get the best out of them and he might act as the catalyst to get their Test careers propelling forward,” Karthik said on Cricbuzz.

India stand-in captain, Ajinkya Rahane and Pujara have been inconsistent in Test cricket in the past. Rahane has not scored a century since December 2020 while Pujara has been unable to score the three-digit mark since January 2019. Rahane was dismissed after scoring 35 off 63 balls , while Pujara could manage only 26 runs during his 88-ball stay.

Karthik further added that since the number of Test matches were less, performance by both batsmen was going under the radar. Now, the Test matches are increased, and the pressure will pile up with every match they don’t score.

“They would be disappointed, no doubt. There has been this word out that they need to score hundreds because they haven’t in some time and with every match that pressure seems to increase,” he stated.

“Since Test matches were played sporadically, they have not been in the spotlight as often in the recent past. There has been a lot of white ball cricket recently so it has kind of gone under the radar but once Test cricket starts in full tilt again, they will come under the spotlight every time they don’t score runs. With every game the voices from outside will seem to get louder.”

Shreyas Iyer was impressive on his Test debut and played a knock of unbeaten 75 off 136 balls on Day 1. Karthik is of the opinion that if Iyer makes a hundred, it might be threat for Rahane and Pujara’s spot in India’s Test squad.

“Now, Shreyas Iyer walks in at No.5 and scores a fifty. If he goes on to make a hundred and then does well in the next game, what are they going to do when they go to South Africa (for their upcoming tour starting December). Are they going to hold on to him or one of these two? These are the big questions that Rahul Dravid has to answer,” he concluded.

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