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“Not my job to select players”: Kohli on Rahane and Pujara’s selection

The Indian Cricket Team has seen a turn of fortune in the recently-concluded away Test Series against South Africa. The selection of the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara has come under scrutiny.

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Virat Kohli’s men lost 2-1 to Dean Elgar and Co. after going 0-1 up in the series. This series was India’s to lose, as they had already won the first match of the series. Below-the-par batting performances in the last two tests cost the series win.

Rahane and Pujara are experienced enough to take the burden of performing. They only play red-ball-cricket for India, which has caused more scrutiny around their selection. Fans are distraught with the duo’s performances over the past two years.

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The batting Stats of Rahane and Pujara seem alarming

Over the past two years, Pujara’s batting average in tests has taken the detrimental route. The Rajkot-born batsman averaged 38 runs per innings in 2018 and 46.1 runs per innings in 2019. In 2020, he scored 163 runs in 8 innings at an average of 20.

The following year, he bagged 702 runs in 26 innings, at an average of 28. It is not how one would want their best test batsman to anchor the innings.

Rahane’s numbers aren’t good either. His average rose from over 34 runs per innings in 2017 to 71 runs per innings in 2019. However, he has not been up to the mark over the past two years.

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He averaged just below 39 in 2020. A tremendous downfall occurred in 2021 when he scored 479 runs in 23 innings. The average thus turned out to be just over 20 runs per inning.

Kohli in a recent interview with the press talked about the selection of Pujara and Rahane. He advised the media to speak with the selectors as to what they have in their minds. He also added that it is not in his role to discuss the players’ selections.

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