Ajinkya Rahane should be "concerned about" form versus spin, says former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull

India vs. New Zealand, 1st Test: Former Kiwi cricketer Simon Doull criticized Ajinkya Rahane, pointing out his weakness towards spin bowling.

With Shreyas Iyer in top form, India set a strong goal of 284 runs for New Zealand on the fourth day of their first test match in Kanpur on Saturday. Despite the strong goal, the home team's senior batter failed to impress again as Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara scored only 22 and four runs respectively. At Star Sports, former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull criticized Rahane's performance, stating that the standby captain should "be concerned about his form".

Rahane was caught LBW in the 15th over of India's second innings by Ajaz Patel. The crank threw up an oblique throw, which Rahane tried to defend. The batsman missed his block and the ball hit his pad right in front of the stump. The 33-year-old spoke briefly to Mayank Agarwal, who was at the bottom of the non-striker, and decided not to check.

"He's a better player than that. His layoffs against Spin since 2019, look at these, outside the line of off-stump, lots of full deliveries. Or he chops off one to cover him, in the middle of it and those areas", said Doull. "So these are the layoffs against Spin that he would be concerned about," he continued.

The former cricketer also compared the Indian squad for the first test match to legendary players like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid and felt they were nowhere near their quality. “You would normally think Indian players, Indian conditions, better spin players. I don't think the current generation of Indian players can come close to the quality of spin players of years gone by. The Laxmans, the Dravids, the Sachins, and Gautam Gambhir. Players like this one who were just brilliant spin players. I don't think the current harvest is that good, "he said.

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Doull also believed Indian batsmen had a hard time facing spin due to the lack of the best spin bowlers in the country in domestic cricket. He said, "Well, is that because the current group of weirdos don't play local cricket - the Top Qualities, the Jadejas, the Ashwins, the Axar Patels - so the Batters don't have top-notch spin? Or is it the batsmen?" Are you not playing enough local cricket to face a top quality spin? "

Initially India posted a first inning score of 345, thanks to a good century from Iyer. In response, New Zealand hit 296 in its first innings, with Axar Patel bagging a five-wicket haul. In their second inning, India declared after hitting 234 for seven, with Iyer again shattering half a century.

The guests reached four to one on day 4 before the end of the game. New Zealand must have 280 runs on day 5 to win the friendly.