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India v New Zealand

‘Indian players don’t get dropped anymore’ – Fans try to make sense of Rahane’s absence amid India’s ‘niggle-based’ changes

Rahane niggle dropped
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Ajinkya Rahane, who was in the midst of a horror run of form, did not make it to the XI of the second Test against New Zealand at Mumbai after being sidelined due to a hamstring niggle that captain Virat Kohli announced at the toss.

Ajinkya Rahane’s spot for the second Test match between India and New Zealand at Mumbai was under the scanner after a prolonged period of indifferent form. The India vice-captain averages less than 20 this year after 12 games, with his overall Test average now reading 39.30.

With Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli’s replacement for the Kanpur Test, making a hundred in his debut innings to go with a 65 in the second, the spotlight was further on Rahane’s position in the XI. Kohli’s return at Wankhede put the Indian management under a dilemma, with the choice for the number five spot being between Rahane and Iyer.

While dropping the newcomer was a tough task considering his knocks in Kanpur that bailed India out, leaving out Rahane looked unlikely considering his stature and India’s hesitance in dropping senior pros midway through a series. However, as news came in that Rahane would not make the cut in his home ground due to a niggle on Friday morning, Twitter users were hardly left surprised at the timing of the injury, with many suggesting that the word “niggle” was being used to indicate “dropped”.

Incidentally, India made two other changes in their XI, with the injured Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja getting replaced by Mohammad Siraj and Jayant Yadav respectively.


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