The Indian selectors finally lost patience with Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara as the senior duo were dropped from the Indian team for the two Test series against Sri Lanka next month.
Once the backbone of the Indian batting line-up in Tests, Rahane and Pujara have struggled for runs in the last couple of the years. The duo occupy the top two slot for the lowest average by a top order batter in Tests since 2020.
While Rahane has managed just one century in 35 innings in the last two years, Pujara has failed to go past the three-figure mark in 38 innings in the same period.
Rajneesh Gupta presents a detailed statistical analysis on why Rahane and Pujara were axed:
Pujara’s struggles with the bat since 2020
The normally consistent Pujara has found runs hard to come by, managing just 973 runs in 20 Tests at an average of 26 without any century since 2020.
He was one of India’s top batters between 2010-2019, — with 5,740 runs in 75 Tests at an average of 49.
Pujara’s career home record is an impressive 3,471 runs in 41 Tests at an average of 59. However, it has been dipped to 22 for just 228 runs in six Tests since 2020.
Comparisons of Pujara’s career record at home and overseas from 2010-2019 and since 2020, which clearly shows how the right-hander has struggled to keep up his consistent performances.
Comparison of two phases of Pujara’s career from 2010 to 2019 and since 2020:
Pujara’s performance at home and away between 2010 and 2019
Pujara’s performance at home and away since 2020
Pujara’s performance in home Tests
Pujara’s performance in away Tests
Pujara against pace and spin between 2010 and 2019
Pujara against pace and spin since 2020
Runs have dried up for Rahane since 2020
Comparison of two phases of Rahane’s career from 2010 to 2019 and since 2020:
The major highlight of Rahane’s career is that his away record has been better than at home. He averages 46 in 36 away Tests, as compared to his home average of 39 in 27 Tests.
Rahane’s returns with the bat have diminished big time since 2020. His home average has fallen to 18 in five Tests, while his away record has dipped to 668 runs in 14 Tests at an average of 25.
Rahane’s performance at home and away between 2010 and 2019
Rahane’s performance at home and away since 2020
Rahane’s performance in home Tests
Rahane’s performance in away Tests
Rahane against pace and spin between 2010 and 2019
Rahane has been particularly been very good against spin, averaging 74 against the slow bowlers from 2010-2019 as compared to his average of 42 against pace bowlers.
However, he average has gone down nearly half since 2020 — 30 against spin and 24 against pace.
Rahane against pace & spin since 2020
The selectors must have also considered the fact that Rahane and Pujara are the top two when it comes to top order batters with the lowest average since 2020.
Interestingly, Virat Kohli is fourth on the list with an average of 28 in 27 Tests.
Top-order batters with lowest average since 2020
Minimum 25 innings batted at numbers 1-6
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