New Delhi: Ever since India lost the 1st Test against South Africa at Newlands, many have questioned Ajinkya Rahane’s exclusion from the team. Joining the list is former South Africa pacer Allan Donald, who has tipped the middle-order batsman to succeed on fast and bouncy tracks. In a conversation with Hindustan Times, Donald also said that Rahane is the one who can provide stability to the Indian batting line-up.
“I really think it’s harsh to keep Rahane out. Last time he was here he had a great tour. I think for me, Rahane is the man who can steady the ship. He is a rock-solid guy and a good head on his shoulders,” Donald said.
“South Africans see Rahane sitting on the bench and carrying drinks and they would say ‘wow’. They would rather have that, you know. He’s an absolutely world-class player, ” he added.
The 51-year-old was also impressed with the Indian pace battery, that has the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami. Donald said, “I think it’s an amazing bowling lineup. They have passion, control, they are very aggressive and that was a spirited bowling performance. That positivity can be taken to the next Test match. Yes, they are different in pace but they have a lot of skill. South Africa’s bowling attack is based on pace with the exception of Philander while the Indian bowling attack has got incredible variety.”
Earlier, Rahane’s coach Praveen Amre had said, “I think this is the time when Rahane needed Kohli and Shastri’s backing because he had just one bad series against Sri Lanka and that too on Indian soil. When he was dropped from the ODI team after winning the Man-of-the-Series award in the West Indies, there was no problem because he was filling in for the first team players. He was expected to make way once they returned to the team. But to drop the vice-captain of the Test team in the first Test of what is deemed as the start of the real test for Team India over the next 18 months was anything but shocking,” he said.