FORMER INDIAN No. 3 batsman Rahul Dravid suggests Ajinkya Rahane is perfect for the No. 5 position in India’s Test line-up. Dravid, who was in Mumbai to launch Aakash Chopra’s book, ‘The Insider: Decoding The Craft of Cricket’, said the Indian management should reconsider Rahane’s batting position in Tests.
“I think he is best at No. 5. I think he would be a very good No. 4 or No. 5 batsman in Tests. I am not saying he won’t be a good No. 3 because he batted there, but the success he had at No. 5, his ability to bat with the tail and the range of shorts he has, makes him a very good No. 5, also his ability to play the second new ball,” Dravid said in a conversation with Aakash.
“Obviously, he (Rahane) is required to bat at whatever position his team needs. But for me No. 5 is the position where he will probably do best in Tests,” he added.
Rahane was seen batting one-down in the recently concluded Test series against Sri Lanka, where he had considerable success, including a century in the second Test at the P Sara Oval in Colombo. Rohit Sharma’s inconsistency at No. 3 prompted the management to push Rahane up the order. However, Dravid feels Dravid feels it would be unfair to tinker with India’s best Test batsman in the past 18 months.
Dravid further praised Rahane for his hard work and determination to get into the Indian team. He also said that Rahane is a completely different batsman from his own self. He plays more shots, has a better strike rate and entertains people more. He may not be flashy like most other batsmen, but the results are there to see.
“What I really like about him is that he has had to work very hard to get into the Indian side. In a sense it has been similar to someone like me. I spent five years, 55-60 first-class games, 17-18 hundreds to get into the India side. That is similar to him. He averaged 60 in first-class cricket to get into the side," he said.
When quizzed about what should be India’s top five batting order in the upcoming series against South Africa, Dravid politely said, “We’ll get there when we cross the bridge.”
One of the gems of the evening came from an otherwise quiet Dravid, when he was asked about the importance of footwork in a batsman’s game.
“Good legs never go out of fashion.”