ENG v IND 2021: Ajinkya Rahane can play first-class cricket to regain his form – Zaheer Khan

Team India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane continued to struggle as he registered a duck in the second innings of the fourth Test against England being played at The Oval. He faced seven balls before playing the wrong line and was out LBW and did not look convincing at all.

The batsman has been in poor form throughout the series and has scored only 109 runs, averaging 15.57 in the seven innings he has played.

Rahane has seen a dip in performances ever since the century he registered in the boxing day Test at MCG in 2020. The middle-order batsman has played 19 innings this year and has scored only 372 runs at an average of 19.67.

Former India pacer Zaheer Khan feels that Rahane needs a break from international cricket as in such times the more one tires, the more one slumps.

“It’s all form-based. You’ll have to go back, analyze and work hard, and then only you can move ahead… It’s important to pull such a player out of the pressure zone and give him a chance [to improve]. We say this in Hindi that the more you try to force yourself out of the swamp, the more you get trapped in it,” Zaheer Khan said in an interaction with Cricbuzz.

“At such a moment, other than just technical things, you have then overcome all the mental pressure as well. The more you are in this situation, the more [poor] knocks that’ll go beside your name, the worse it will get for you,” he added.

The former pacer further said that Rahane had to go back to first-class cricket to get back to form.

“When you are in a purple patch you should try and play as many games as possible. But, similarly, when you are struggling to gain form, it’s imperative to take a few steps back, see everything from a wider lens… if you want to play first-class cricket, do that because the pressure there is relatively less and you can try new things,” he concluded.