Dinesh Karthik feels that it is the end of ‘long rope’ for Pujara and Rahane

Dinesh Karthik, Pujara and Rahane

Former Indian wicket-keeper batsmen Dinesh Karthik feels that either of Cheteshwar Pujara or Ajinkya Rahane will have to make way for Virat Kohli when he returns to the playing XI for the third test.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have once again failed to score runs as their flop shows continues in the Wanderers Test. Pujara and Rahane fell off in successive deliveries as Team India were bundled out for 202 in the first innings.

Pujara scored 3 off 33 deliveries while Rahane failed to open his account. It’s been three years that Cheteshwar Pujara has not scored a ton while Ajinkya Rahane was recently removed as the vice-captain of the team due to his poor run with the bat.

The duo received massive criticism on social media after another failure. Indian wicket-keeper batsmen Dinesh Karthik feels that it is the end of the long rope for both of them.

“At No. 3, in inarguably the world’s best cricket team, to find a spot there for three years and not score a hundred – he (Pujara) will know he’s got a long, long rope. To a large extent they are playing because of the potential they have, and the performances they have shown, and obviously, they are senior statesmen [in the team] as well. But the long rope they have been given is slowly burning out and you are coming to the end of it. I am very, very sure that they are both aware of it. Also, we have got to see the potential of the players at the back, they have done as well. Now if Virat Kohli returns, you get a feeling that one of the two has to give way,” Karthik said on Cricbuzz.

Karthik highlighted the fact that just like Pujara replaced Rahul Dravid in the No.3 at the end of his career, Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer might repeat the same. He feels that both Rahane and Pujara have ran out of time and opportunities.

“When Rahul Dravid was at the fag end of his career, it was actually Pujara who came in and did well at that No. 3 spot, put pressure on him to eventually take his spot… Obviously, that circle comes around… I do think Rahul Dravid will have to make a couple of harsh decisions and if that means dropping one or both of them, he’ll be open to it because he knows that they have been given a long rope before… You don’t want to set the ground ablaze by making the big decisions right at the outset so I think he’s waiting and trying to assess what he can contribute to their careers and if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be.”

Batting first, Team India were bundled out for 202 runs in the first inning. KL Rahul scored a fifty while Ravichandran Ashwin fell four runs short of his half century. No other batsmen could cross the 30-run mark.

At the end of the day’s play, South Africa are trailing by 167 runs having lost the wicket of Aiden Markram.