Rajasthan Royals (RR) succumbed to their sixth loss in eight matches in IPL 2019 when Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) beat them by 12 runs in Mohali yesterday. While R Ashwin and KL Rahul were the stars for the hosts, RR skipper Ajinkya Rahane's slow batting came under heavy criticism as the visitors lost the momentum that was provided by openers Jos Buttler and Rahul Tripathi.
Having failed to get a place in India's squad for 2019 World Cup, Rahane already had enough reasons to be disappointed about before the disheartening loss at the IS Bindra Stadium. With just 201 runs in this year's IPL including a single half-century, the Indian Test vice-captain has certainly failed to live up to the expectations.Former cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Majrekar took the occasion to remind Rahane of the dip in his batting form of late adding that the Mumbaikar is 'living in denial'.
"Have felt this for a while now, Ajinkya Rahane is living in denial about his batting form. Once he accepts that there is a problem with his batting, then only can the repair work begin," Manjrekar wrote on his Twitter page. Rahane demoted himself against KXIP to the No. 4 position but failed to provide any impetus to the RR innings after Buttler and Tripathi had set up the chase nicely.
After Tripathi's dismissal, the visitors needed 56 off 24. But Rahane (26) failed to lead from the front once again and Stuart Binny's unbeaten 11-ball 31 too proved futile in the end as Kings XI won easily at the end. Royals managed 170/7 in 20 overs.