London: India have played nine away Tests since they travelled to South Africa in December last year. And these games have provided ample opportunities for the young brigade to stand up and be counted.
Four of the six - Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane — have played in all the games thus far, with varying degrees of success. Each of them had their highs and lows, but Mumbai lad Rahane has been the most consistent of the lot. He has scored 670 runs at impressive average of 45.
His technique and mental application have been superior to the others and he has proved himself in all the three countries — South Africa, New Zealand and England.
Before going to SA, Rahane spent countless hours with Pravin Amre altering his technique to ensure he succeeded on foreign soil. One key area he worked on was the movement of his feet.
He ensured his front foot didn't stretch across the stumps or down the pitch, thereby allowing him to play the ball right under his eyes rather than falling over. And all the hours spent in the nets seem to be paying off.
Rahane also opened his stance slightly and made a conscious effort to move the back foot into the line of middle stump, so his head was right over off-stump and he was perfectly side-on in defence.
Rahane would have got a ton in South Africa had the tail been more stubborn. Nevertheless, he got one at Lord's in England.
The number of runs Rahane scored in the five Tests against England
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