Ajinkya Rahane is undoubtedly the prized scalp of Australian bowlers in the remaining two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The stand-in Indian captain scored a match-defining hundred in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test to help the visitors square the series.
Ajinkya Rahane has scored 4384 runs in the 67 Test matches he has played for India, doing so at a decent average of 43.4. The Mumbaikar has amassed 1003 runs in 15 Tests against Australia, doing so at a decent average of 40.12.
Eight Australian bowlers have dismissed Ajinkya Rahane in Test cricket. The classy right-hander has been dismissed by Steve O'Keefe and Pat Cummins twice and once each by Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson.
Let us now have a look at the three Australian bowlers who have got the better of Ajinkya Rahane the most times in the longest format of the game.
Three Australian bowlers who have accounted for Ajinkya Rahane's wicket the most times in Test cricket
#3: Mitchell Starc - 3 times
Mitchell Starc first dismissed Ajinkya Rahane in the second innings of the second Test in Bengaluru in March 2017. The left-arm pacer had Rahane trapped in front of the wicket when on 52. Although he was given not out initially, the decision was reversed after the visitors opted for a review.
Rahane's second dismissal against Starc came in the first innings of the fourth Test in Sydney in January 2019. The Indian vice-captain was struck on the gloves while trying to evade a bouncer, only to be caught by Tim Paine behind the wickets after having scored 18 runs.
Starc also got the better of Ajinkya Rahane in the first innings of the pink-ball Test in Adelaide in the ongoing India-Australia series. The India No. 5 was caught plumb in front of the wicket off the second new ball. He scored 42 runs in that innings.
Ajinkya Rahane has an impressive overall record against Mitchell Starc in Test cricket, scoring 148 runs against the speedster at an average of 49.33.
#2: Josh Hazlewood - 5 times
Josh Hazlewood first scalped Ajinkya Rahane's wicket in the first innings of the second Test in Brisbane in December 2014.
The right-arm pacer got the ball to angle in and then move away off the seam to take the outside edge of Rahane on the way to Brad Haddin behind the stumps. The right-hander scored 81 in that innings.
Hazlewood again accounted for Ajinkya Rahane in the second innings of the next Test match of the same series played in Melbourne. The first-innings centurion top-edged a pull shot and was caught by Shaun Marsh at mid-wicket after having scored 48 runs.
Hazlewood next dismissed Ajinkya Rahane in the first innings of the first Test of India's last tour of Australia, a game that was played in Adelaide in December 2018. The seamer lured Rahane to play a drive on the up but was caught by Peter Handscomb at second slip after making only 13.
The right-armer got the better of Ajinkya Rahane in the second innings of the next Test match in Perth as well. The Indian vice-captain smashed a square drive straight down Travis Head's throat when he was on 30.
Ajinkya Rahane's latest dismissal against Hazlewood came during India's capitulation in the second innings of the pink-ball Test of the ongoing series. He played a tentative push to a full delivery and was caught by Paine behind the stumps before opening his account.
Ajinkya Rahane has scored 152 runs against Josh Hazlewood in Test matches and averages 30.4 against him.
#1: Nathan Lyon - 9 times
Ajinkya Rahane's first-ever dismissal in the longest format of the game came at the hands of Nathan Lyon in the first innings of the fourth Test in Delhi in March 2013. The debutant was caught by Steve Smith at backward short leg after having scored seven runs.
Lyon dismissed Rahane in both innings of the next Test played between the two teams in Adelaide in December 2014. The right-hander was caught at slip by Shane Watson for a well-compiled 62 in the first innings. However, in the second innings, he was unfortunate to be given out caught at short leg by Chris Rogers without opening his account.
Lyon next accounted for Ajinkya Rahane in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test of the same series. Rahane was trapped in front of the wicket while playing a sweep shot after scoring a majestic 147. His fifth dismissal against the off-spinner came in the first innings of the Bengaluru Test in 2017 when he was stumped by Matthew Wade for 17.
Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed by Lyon again in the first innings of the final Test of the same series in Dharamsala; he was caught at first slip by Steve Smith after scoring 46 runs. Rahane fell to the Australian spinner for the seventh time while trying to play a reverse sweep in the second innings of the Adelaide Test in 2018; he was caught by Starc at backward point after scoring 70.
Lyon dismissed Rahane in the first innings of the next Test in Perth when he caught by Paine off a straighter one for 51. Rahane's final dismissal against the wily off-spinner came in the first innings of the very next Test match in Melbourne; he was caught plumb in front of the wickets after scoring 34 runs.
Nathan Lyon is the most successful bowler against Rahane in Test cricket. The stand-in Indian captain has scored 308 runs against him, doing so at an average of 34.22.
Published 01 Jan 2021, 12:29 IST