Will India Drop Rahane For The Mumbai Test?


With senior duo Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane battling it out for runs, India faces a big selection headache ahead of their second and final Test against New Zealand in Mumbai on Friday.

Shreyas Iyer made a dream debut, scoring a century and a half on the first Test at Kanpur to almost seal his place in midfield. With captain Virat Kohli, who is leading the team at Wankhede Stadium again, coach Rahul Dravid will long consider who to keep out.

Ajinkya Rahane, who led India in the Kanpur Test, faces the possibility of being dropped for the Test being played at his home stadium. Rahane has suffered a tremendous loss of form, only passing 411 in 12 tests played this year with an average of 19.57, with two half centuries. He's only got a century in the past two years.

Dravid admitted the team are looking for runs from Rahane who has been one of the pillars of the Indian batting team for the past few years. "Of course you'd like more runs from Ajinkya, he'd like to get more runs," he said after the Kanpur Test, in which Rahane scored 35 and 4.


Pujara is another player who has hit 802 runs in 16 tests averaging 27 runs over the past two years, without a single century. But India wouldn't risk leaving both Rahane and Pujara out in a series-defining test at home.

Read More | IND vs NZ, 2nd Test: Will Ajinkya Rahane play his first Test at his home stadium, Wankhede?

If India chooses to stay with Rahane it would mean making some changes to the lineup to accommodate him. Pujara may have to open in place of Mayank Agarwal, who could be canceled after both innings fail at Kanpur, with Iyer moving up to 3rd and Kohli below him.

Among the bowlers, Ishant Sharma is likely to be dropped after going wicketless in Kanpur. With India unable to beat the Kiwis on the last day, they will look to someone like Mohammed Siraj who was impressive in his brief testing career.

India is likely to keep its spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, and Ravindra Jadeja, with the Mumbai square said to be of much more help to the slower bowlers than Kanpur.

Probable XI: Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (w/k), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav.