Colombo, Aug 20: Lashing out at the Indian team management's decision to force Ajinkya Rahane bat at number three, former captain Sunil Gavaskar today said the think-tank has "sacrificed" an "uncomplaining" cricketer.
Rahane has almost made the number five slot his own in Tests but the team management reshuffled the batting order in the second Test against Sri Lanka with Rahane batting at number three and Rohit Sharma at five. (Pujara is 'one-gear' batsman: Gavaskar)
"I have just got to be blunt, they have just sacrificed a good man. He's one of those nice and quiet guys who won't say anything. He has been pushed to number three when he had success at number five. It's hard on him," Gavaskar told NDTV.
"But he will do whatever is needed. He comes from Rahul Dravid school. Rahul had also batted number three and five. He's Rahane's mentor and he will do the same thing.
"If Virat bats at number for, number three is open to discussion. Rahane has this tendency to reach out to the ball. He did it in New Zealand and South Africa. It's better if he bats at number four of five when the ball is not doing much. He's loyal and uncomplaining servant of Indian cricket in his short career."
Rahane could manage only four runs today and bulk of the scoring was done by young opener KL Rahul (108), skipper Kohli (78) and Rohit (79).
Gavaskar was mighty impressed with Rahul. "He's got such a good temperament. He got behind the line (of the ball). He was very impressive. The only thing is that he is a an impulsive hooker. It's no bad thing but he's got to be sure which one to hit and which one to leave."
The former captain felt Rohit Sharma has played a "career defining knock to an extent" since there was a lot of pressure on him to perform.
"He has made the most of opportunity. There was already a partnership between Kohi and Rahul, the Lankan bowlers were tired. It was right time to come in and bat and he capitalised on that," he said.
Gavaskar said batting lower down the order suits Rohit Sharma more. "He has this tendency to reach out to ball. When the ball is moving, it's difficult for him to change the shot. It's better if he bats lower down the order." Gavaskar felt that India does not have bowlers, who can pick wickets consistently.