Mumbai, (IANS): India discard Robin Uthappa on Thursday hoped that the patchy form of Test vice captain Ajinkya Rahane eases soon as the Virat Kohli-led team prepares for the challenging tour of South Africa later this month.
Rahane is undoubtedly one of the most prolific batsmen in the current Test squad but his recent form, yielding 17 runs in the five innings he has batted in the three-match Sri Lanka series is a worrying factor for the team management.
But Uthappa, who attended the Dr Dayal Foundation (DDF) annual award ceremony here on Thursday, is unperturbed by the Mumbaikar's recent slump in form.
"There comes a bad patch in every cricketer's career, even the great Sunil Gavaskar went through it. It can happen to any cricketer. The sooner his lean patch ends its better for Indian cricket," Uthappa told reporters after distributing 50 cricket kits to budding cricketers at the event.
Asked about his advice to the struggling right-hander, the Saurashtra batsman said: "I suppose he should just keep playing. I am sure the selectors have enough faith (in him), which is why they are continuing with him. I wish him to get back to his form very soon and score lots of runs."
Former India skipper Ajit Wadekar, who was presented the Dr Rameshwar Dayal Lifetime Achievement Award at the event, hailed India's stand-in captain Rohit Sharma, who recently blasted a record third ODI double ton.
"Rohit is certainly a damn good player and I expect him to do well in South Africa," he said.
Asked about the change ODI cricket has undergone since his days, when 200 was considered a challenging total, the 76-year-old said: "You have to move with time, also with the crowd's demands. Cricket can't survive without entertaining the crowd."
"Also the wickets are getting much better these days while the (bowling) attack of teams is getting very much stereotyped for which it becomes easier for the batsmen," Wadekar added.
The Dr Dayal Foundation on Thursday held its annual award ceremony to commemorate 10 years of the foundation's service to humanity.
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