Ajinkya Rahane – A magnificent contributor

Kuku
ANALYST

Ajinkiya Rahane has a fantastic domestic record

Ajinkya Rahane has played a pivotal role throughout the CLT20 journey for the Rajasthan Royals. His remarkable innings in the semi-final proved to be a turning point for his team. He contributed a vital 70 runs in just 56 balls against Chennai Super Kings in a tough game, helping Rajasthan Royals in winning the match by 14 runs. Rahane’s contribution was clearly amazing as he averaged 57.60 in the tournament. He was also the highest run getter in the tournament.

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In the final, he again displayed his excellent batting skills, scoring 65 very useful runs in just 47 deliveries.

This proves his capability to perform under any pressure situation. This guy has got the courage to stay firmly on the crease under any conditions. Sometimes, I really wonder as to why he has not been given more chances to showcase his abundant talent for India. Hopefully, the selectors will now make him a part of their long term plans. He could really be a good opener for India.

Rahane is perhaps the most unfortunate talented young cricketer of the present era. Timing always plays a major role in everyone’s life, but perfect timing can make or break a cricketer. One misjudged effort can result in dropping a crucial catch. Likewise, a single ball, if not treated properly, can change the fate of any batsman.

Fortunately, Rahane is strong enough to bear the pressure of being in the squad for a long time and not getting the chance to display his wonderful cricketing skills.

He is a right-hand batsman known for his cover drives. He is primarily an opener, who has also played in the middle order. I personally like the fact that he idolizes Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Also, he tries to model his batting in a conventional manner, even when the need is for quick runs. Even in T20, he does not go for slog shots, and believes in scoring quick runs via proper shots.

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This 25-year-old, a native of Dombivali, Maharashtra, started playing for Mumbai in the year 2007. On his List A debut, he scored 61 runs. Rahane made his first-class debut for Mumbai against Karachi Urban in the Mohammed Nissar Trophy in September 2007 at Karachi. In that match, he scored a century on debut – 143 valuable runs.

Two centuries in the Emerging Players Tournament in 2011 in Australia brought him a place in the India ODI squad for the tour of England in 2011. His T20 international debut came in August 2011. Just a month later, he got his chance in the ODIs. Although he could not do very well in these matches, to be fair, he did not get an extended run in the team.

Rahane again rose to prominence in the 2012 IPL season for the Rajasthan Royals. He hit a match-winning 98 in his first game of IPL 2012 against Kings XI Punjab and followed that up with an unbeaten 103 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. He has done consistently well in the IPL. He played for Mumbai Indians from 2008 to 2010. Thereafter, he has been playing for Rajasthan Royals.

A few of his critics always point out the fact that his batting average in ODIs is just around 26. But I want to highlight the fact that he has got a superb average of around 61 in the first class matches. Also, when a batsman is not given a chance to play regularly, how can we expect consistent performances from him? Earlier Dravid, Sehwag and Gambhir were in the team and now Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Murali Vijay have risen.

Sometimes, I really wonder how “luck” destroys the career of a talented and hard-working young player! The most amazing puzzle which appears difficult to solve, is the basis for the induction of a player into the Indian squad. As far as the statistics are concerned, Rahane has got very impressive figures.

I really hope he gets a fair chance in the upcoming West Indies Tests and proves himself on the big stage. I am sure he will be opening the batting for India for many years. Good luck young man.

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