England outplayed India in both departments in the third Test match to secure a dominating win by an innings and 76 runs. The middle order of the Indian team has been struggling to hold the fort of the side. The cricketing fraternity is suggesting few tweaks in the playing XI of the team for the fourth Test. Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has also been placed under scrutiny for his performances. The former India batter VVS Laxman has however backed Rahane.
Ajinkya Rahane has registered a string of low scores in the ongoing Test match series. The batter is also been talked about because of his similar mode of dismissals in the series. VVS Laxman feels that Rahane is part of the core group. He recounted the heroics of him Down Under and stated that he would still pin his faith in him.
“Definitely there is no doubt that Rahane hasn’t performed to his potential. Having said that I look at Rahane as a leader in this Indian team. He is part of the core group. We know what he has done as a captain in Australia after getting dismissed at 36. It was Rahane’s hundred that pulled back the series for India at Melbourne. What a brilliant knock that was. Such players even if they are going from a lean patch, I would still keep my faith on him. I would not even think of excluding him from both the Test matches,” VVS said in an interaction with ESPNcricinfo.
The one department that hasn’t played to its potential is the batting department: VVS Laxman
Virat Kohli won the first toss of the series and elected to bat first in the third Test. The batting lineup of India however collapsed as they were bundled up for 78 runs. Laxman thus feels that India needs to modify their five bowler template and play an extra batter. He also asserted that the batting lineup hasn’t played to its potential and that the team has vastly depended on the openers.
“One department that hasn’t played to its potential is the batting department. In all three Test matches, I felt that the middle order was tested. They are overly dependent on Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul to get runs. So I definitely feel playing that extra batsman will be something that Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri will be thinking about,” VVS Laxman further stated.
The former Indian cricketer also said that he is looking forward to Ashwin making it to the playing XI of the fourth Test match. According to him, England has got three left-hand batters in their middle order and Ashwin could be impactful in this case.