Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane
Cheteshwar Pujara (L) and Ajinkya Rahane

Nick Compton has suggested that allowing the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane to grow into stronger personalities will only benefit their respective careers and positively change the atmosphere of Indian dressing room. Compton feels that the duo doesn’t fall under the category of ‘alpha-male personalities’ which sometimes makes it difficult for them to deal with difficult methods.

Both Pujara and Rahane scored runs in the third Test at Trent Bridge and this played a vital role in cutting down England’s lead to 2-1 in the five-match series.

“They [Pujara and Rahane] should be allowed to grow into stronger personalities in that [Indian] dressing room,” Compton, the former England batsman, was quoted as saying by the PTI on Sunday. “Now that Pujara and Rahane have scored runs, things will get easier for them.”

He has advised Virat Kohli and the Indian team management against tinkering with the winning combination as the visitors have now struck a balance. “India won in Nottingham and hit upon a good team balance. There is no further reason for change. It will be interesting to see if Virat make any changes [for the fourth Test],” he observed.

Compton, who has played 16 Tests for England, also criticised the decision to leave Pujara out from the first Test at Edgbaston saying that it reflected poorly on the Indian team. “… in terms of selection, Virat makes too many changes. For example, it was a baffling decision to leave Pujara out of the first Test and it showed poor insight from the team management to allow that decision.”

“When Virat makes so many changes as captain, it cannot always be easy for other players, like Pujara or Rahane for that matter. They do not have alpha-male personalities and such players can sometimes struggle to cope with extreme methods.” he said.

He touched upon the struggling England captain Joe Root who has just one score of fifty to show for, so far, in the series. Compton believes it has to do with his batting position.

“The [England] top order is a mess because they haven’t got their batting order right. Joe Root isn’t a number three batsman, and he isn’t batting at his best position. He should be batting at number four and controlling the innings. He didn’t handle Jasprit Bumrah very well.

“Bumrah bowls at pace and moves the ball into batsmen, working that angle. I think someone like Root should be able to work it out better on his off stump. But the fact that Bumrah is still able to cause problems to Root says a lot about his quality.”

He hinted that relieving Root from the pressure of captaincy could prove to be effective. “I also think captaincy is burdening him a bit as well. At times, I think he should be left alone to be England’s best batsman because he certainly is. However, it isn’t like England have another option at the moment. They certainly do need to rethink their batting order, especially if they continue to not get good starts,” he said.