For international cricketers who suddenly lose form, especially in the longest format, domestic cricket is the platform to regain their foot. A number of former greats have followed the known path to regain their lost touch and have returned with a bang.
The conventional wisdom still believes that it is the best way for players to rediscover themselves on the 22 yards. The rule hasn’t changed even though players who have lost touch in the red-ball variety tend to feel that slam-bang batting in the shorter white-ball formats help them overcome the blockade. In most cases, such thinking is misleading.
These days, three big names of Indian batting have failed to deliver it in Test cricket even though they have scored enough runs in other versions. The trio is KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay. All of them have been tried for a long time in the opening slots for India in Tests but they haven’t lived up to the expectations.
While Dhawan and Vijay have found themselves among the discards in the longer format, Rahul has continued to disappoint despite getting a whole lot of opportunities. While India dominated the West Indies in a two-Test away series recently, Rahul could not score more than 101 runs in four innings. As a result, KL Rahul has been axed for the upcoming SA Test series.
Laxman set up a precedent of returning to Test team
Chief Indian selector MSK Prasad has recently made his say on the trio and came up with an analogy. Former India middle-order batsman VVS Laxman batted as an opener in the earlier part of his career and did not succeed much. After having failed in his first tour of the Windies in 1997, Laxman was dropped and continued to find his position in the national team shaky.
MSK Prasad has his say on @klrahul11 @SDhawan25 and @mvj888 test comeback: Remember @VVSLaxman281 got dropped and he scored 1400 runs in a season to come back. Its simple.
— G. S. Vivek (@GSV1980) September 12, 2019
Then came the 1999-2000 season and he decided to settle the problem. In the Ranji season that year, the stylish Hyderabadi batsman went on to slam 1,415 runs – the most ever in a single season. There was no looking back for the man, who had become a middle-order pillar, thereafter. In 2000, he made 167 runs against Australia in a Test in Sydney and the next year, he played that epic 281 at the Eden Gardens against the same opponents to earn the nickname “Very Very Special”.
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