Rahane and Iyer’s latest failures are just a rough patch, Thakur claims

Shardul Thakur has faith in Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer to bounce back despite their inability to break through with the bat in the first innings of Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy final.

Mumbai scored 224 at Wankhede Stadium, led by 75 from Thakur, with Rahane and Iyer scoring 7 each. After that, Thakur claimed the first wicket for Vidarbha, and Dhawal Kulkarni added two more, leaving Vidarbha at a precarious 31 for 3.

“Throughout the season, Ajinkya has not scored any runs. He’s not in the best shape possible. Following the day’s play, Thakur said, “We cannot hold him responsible as this is just a phase for him where he is not getting runs. For them, it’s just a difficult time. I would say that Shreyas and Ajinkya are like that. These men have won every match for India and Mumbai.

“Right now, it’s not their time; it’s time to support them rather than criticising them because it’s easy to criticise.”

In eight Ranji matches, Rahane has scored just 141 runs at an average of 12.81, with one fifty to his credit. Iyer hasn’t played much for Mumbai this season, but he hasn’t had a very good return to the domestic scene, with three games at an average of 19.33 and a maximum score of 48 runs.

“Ajinkya has not scored runs but his attitude on the fielding is top notch,” Thakur stated. “Many young people from Mumbai’s Under-23 and Under-19 cricket teams lack his mentality. When you catch him in the slips, he will run to save four runs even if he is fielded for eighty overs.

“Shreyas stalks the field with the agility of a tiger. On the field, he gives it his all without fail. When they are in the changing room, they are both excellent role models.”

In a match as important as the Ranji final, Thakur expressed his disappointment at some of the younger batters failing to seize their opportunity, even as he defended the experienced professionals.

“The other batters… we collectively felt that they should have shown a better approach,” he continued. “Starting from Bhupen Lalwani, because he survived the first two or three balls in that over [from Yash Thakur, in which he was dismissed] and still chasing that wide one on the fourth delivery, is not on.” Prithvi Shaw scored 46 and Lalwani scored 37, while Hardik Tamore (5) and Musheer Khan (6) were unsuccessful.

“They need to acquire on the skills quickly because the Mumbai dressing room is not about you. You represent the team when you play here. You need to set aside your personal records and focus on your own game, Thakur stated. “The following runs are for the team when you score 20–25–30 runs. They must become aware of it.

“All we have to do in the second innings is get back together as a batting unit.” As a batting team, we will have difficult days. Most likely, we’ll just get together and intentional as a group how to score heavily from the first three or four wickets.”

In his own innings, Thakur noted, “I love to play in tough situations and tough conditions.” He was the last man out at 111 for 6. You understand that the life I led-traveling long distances by train with a kit bag from Palghar to Mumbai-was not simple. That has made me stronger.

Regarding Kulkarni, who is set to retire following the final, Thakur expressed that it was wonderful to witness his former teammate represent Mumbai in his final game.

“It was confirmed this morning that he is playing. That game was going to be his last. For him, it was a really moving time “Thakur stated. Since I’ve been watching him since I was a child, it’s also an emotional occasion for me. He provided me several pairs of shoes when I didn’t have enough money to buy any.”