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Ajinkya Rahane is too good to be benched, says Wasim Jaffer

Former India and Mumbai opener, Wasim Jaffer, has stated that India and Virat Kohli must include Ajinkya Rahane in their Test line-up as the middle-order batsman is too good to be benched in the longest format of the game. Jaffer said that India’s team management needed to find a place for his one-time Mumbai teammate in the Test side.

Rahane, who is India’s designated vice-captain in Test matches had a notably poor series against Sri Lanka at home towards the end of last year and has subsequently been made to sit out of the first two matches of the ongoing series against South Africa with Rohit Sharma taking his place in the middle-order.

With Sharma failing to take his chance in South Africa so far, calls for Rahane’s inclusion have only grown in Indian cricketing circles with legendary opening batsman and commentator Sunil Gavaskar also questioning Indian team’s selection for the ongoing Centurion Test where India are again down in the dumps.

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Ajinkya Rahane one of India’s best in Test cricket

“We lost the Cape Town Test but I think this team has the quality to bounce back, provided we get the combination right. Ajinkya Rahane is one of our best batsmen in Test cricket and we have to find a place for him in the squad. Pujara and Rahane are the backbone of our team and they need to be backed consistently. I think this team has all the bases covered to win matches outside the subcontinent,” Jaffer wrote in his column for Times of India.

Jaffer further opened up about his current domestic team Vidarbha’s Ranji Trophy win this season and also went on to laud Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini for his superb show across the Indian domestic season and even went on to say that Saini can be a prospect for the Indian team in the near future.

“In India, cricket is a religion but not many know about Navdeep Saini (Delhi pacer), who according to me is ready for international cricket,” Jaffer said. “He has got the pace and accuracy to trouble top quality batsmen, but despite this, nobody knows about him.”

“Here comes the role of media and more so of radio commentary. People walking on roads or living in the remotest part of our country can tune into commentary easily and they can know about young upcoming talent from Ranji and the international circuit. On the personal front, it was a phenomenal feeling for me to be a part of Vidarbha’s journey towards their maiden Ranji title,” Jaffer concluded.