There is no doubt that the duo of Rahane and Pujara hasn’t performed consistently over the last two years. Their previous consistent performances and senior pro status have earned them plenty of chances but there is a sentiment in the cricketing fraternity that tough decisions are awaiting for the senior duos.
India has recently appointed Rahul Dravid as the head coach and the Indian legend during one of his interviews stated that he will not make hasty decisions and will observe and assess before suggesting any change. It is possible that he was speaking in reference to Pujara and Rahane who are under the radar of the selection committee. While Rahane displayed brilliant batting in the Centurion Test, Pujara went cheaply in both innings. The first innings at the Wanderers saw the collapse of the Indian team where the senior duos were unable to make the contribution.
The selection committee had given indication to Rahane by demoting him from the test vice-captaincy before the South African series and a source in the BCCI also said weeks ago that the SA tour could be the last opportunity for both Rahane and Pujara.
The bench strength of the Indian team has been phenomenal over the last few years and there are the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Mayank Agarwal, and Hanuma Vihari who would want to be part of the middle order which is currently occupied by Rahane and Pujara.
For Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar, there couldn’t have been an easier away series than of South Africa who are in the transition period. While SA has the upper hand due to home conditions, the bowling attack is nowhere lethal when the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander were there. After the South African series, India will host West Indies and Bangladesh.