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India vs New Zealand: Ajinkya Rahane just one innings away from getting his rhythm back, says Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara has backed stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane ahead of the first Test against New Zealand, saying that the Mumbai batsman is a great player and is just one inning away from getting his rhythm back.

Cheteshwar Pujara backs Ajinkya Rahane ahead of Test series: He will get good runs against New Zealand (AP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rahane just one innings away from getting his rhythm back: Cheteshwar Pujara
  • Rahane will be desperate to score some runs in the upcoming Tests against New Zealand
  • Rahane will be captaining India in the absence of Virat Kohli, who has been rested for the first Test vs NZ

India’s Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara is confident that ‘great player’ Ajinkya Rahane is just one innings away from getting his rhythm back and the stand-in skipper will score runs in the upcoming Test against New Zealand. Pujara, who has also had an ordinary year with the bat by his own standards, will be Rahane’s deputy in the first game.

Rahane has been struggling for runs in red-ball cricket this year, averaging just over 19 in 11 Tests, and will be looking to regain his touch before leading out the Indian team in the series-opener against the World Test Champions on November 25.

“Rahane is a great player. There are times when a player goes through these periods. He is just one innings away from getting the rhythm back. he will get good runs in the series,” Pujara said in a press conference ahead of the Test series vs New Zealand.

Notably, Rahane will be leading the Indian team in the first Test of the series in Kanpur, with Virat Kohli returning for the second Test. First-team regulars Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant have been rested for the entire series.

The 33-year-old has struggled to find consistency since his century in Melbourne with questions being raised around whether he would be dropped for India’s final Test against England before the match was eventually postponed.

Notably, Rahane has played 40 Tests and scored 7 half-centuries and 3 tons since 2019. Earlier this year, he led India to a historic series win Down Under and on the batting front, he failed to impress.

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