The veteran middle-order batsmen’s poor streak continued within the first innings of the continued second Test towards South Africa on the Wanderers. Both succumbed to pacer Duanne Olivier, whereas Pujara was out to a brief ball at level for a 33-ball 3, Rahane hung his bat exterior the off stump to be dismissed for a first-ball duck.
However, Pujara appeared a really completely different batsman within the second innings and carried the combat to South Africa with an unbeaten 35 off simply 42 balls with seven fours on Tuesday, doing precisely what Vengsarkar had prescribed. Even Rahane appeared safe throughout his quick keep within the center, being 11 not out at stumps.
Decoding their issues within the center, Vengsarkar instructed TOI: “Unfortunately for Pujara, he plays only in the longer format and by not improvising while at the crease and going into his shell, he builds enormous pressure upon himself to perform.
“Rahane, on the other hand, I feel is getting too much into the technicalities when his focus should be to score runs. He looked good in the first innings of the first Test but he needs to get out of that mental block of looking technically good instead of looking for gaps in the field and scoring runs.
“There are younger players like Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shubman Gill, who would eventually take their places, but I believe Pujara and Rahane still have a lot to offer at the highest level, only if they change their mindset.
“After doing so well on tougher tours, instead of going forward and dominating the way Kohli and Rohit Sharma, in the recent past they haven’t progressed at the Test level as I would have liked them to.
“As a batsman, one can’t bat in the first gear always. One has to improvise and shift gears once set. It not only helps the batsman himself, but also the batsman batting with them.”