Ajinkya Rahane’s dismissal for 49 on Day 3 of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton became a topic of discussion on Sunday.
VVS Laxman Advices Ajinkya Rahane
Kane Williamson’s genius captaincy came to the fore in the set-up of Rahane’s dismissal, with the New Zealand skipper setting up the trap for the India batsman after a discussion with Kiwi speedster Neil Wagner.
Rahane is known to be a compulsive hooker of the ball. He never shies away from playing the short ball whenever the ball is pitched short, which at times brings about his downfall like it did on Sunday in the WTC final.
It was a perfect execution of the field set-up by Williamson and a perfect execution of a short one from Jamieson that sent back Rahane for 49.
Speaking on Star Sports during Lunch, former India cricketer VVS Laxman praised Williamson’s captaincy while also highlighted Rahane’s mistakes. Laxman further recalled a piece of advice from Sachin Tendulkar to explain one area where Rahane needs to improve upon.
“I am always impressed with Kane Williamson’s captaincy. I thought that Ajinkya Rahane was getting his eye in, he was batting much better, he looked more assured on the crease as compared to yesterday. But this is something that has become a pattern with Ajinkya Rahane’s batting. It was the same game plan that New Zealand used against him in Christchurch. This is something he requires to understand,” Laxman said.
“You talked about the planning between Neil Wagner and Kane Williamson. There was no fielder there on the fifth delivery, the one before he got out. And then a fielder was placed there and also near the backward short-leg. It forced Ajinkya Rahane to play half-hearted pull short. There was no conviction in that pull short and this would be something Ajinkya Rahane will be disappointed with,” Laxman added.
“I remember when I started my cricketing career, the great Sachin Tendulkar advised me that there are two areas that you have to be comfortable if you have to be successful.
“Number One is you know where your off stump is, you know how to play the ball when it is pitched in the corridor of uncertainty. And you also should know how to leave or defend the bouncers,” Laxman further said.
“Because if the opposition comes to know that you are a compulsive pull shot or hook shot player, they will bowl a barrage of bouncers at you and have the field set to make you play that shot. And it is always going to be a low percentage shot,” he signed off.
India were bowled out for 217 with Kiwi pacer Kyle Jamieson picking a five-wicket haul in the match.