Ajinkya is a like a soldier who is waiting to serve the country whenever picked, says Pravin Amre
Ajinkya Rahane has been in an excellent form of late
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The Indian selectors overlooking Ajinkya Rahane for theT2I series against Australia didn't go well with a majority of the fans and former cricketers as he was looking good in the recently-concluded series against Australia.
In an exclusive interview with CricketNext, former India cricketer and Ajinkya's personal coach Pravin Amre spoke about the exclusion of the Mumbai batsman from the T20I side.
He was very diplomatic when asked about the selectors' decision and went on to compare Ajinkya with a soldier who is waiting to serve the country whenever he is asked to do so. HE also pointed out the maturity showed by the right-hander after his statement after getting dropped and praised him for his batting efforts in the ODI series.
"Ajinkya is a like a soldier who is waiting to serve the country whenever picked. Also, I think he has matured a lot as a player and his statement after the announcement of the squad for the T20I series against Australia shows that he is not insecure of his position in the team. While I am not someone who is in a position to say if it is the right or wrong call by the selectors, what I can say is that he is already preparing for the upcoming series against New Zealand and will look to better the performance he put up against the Aussies," Amre said.
"When you have someone of Gavaskar’s stature batting for you, it only helps motivate you further. Rahane did all the right things by scoring four fifties and putting on 100-run partnerships with Rohit Sharma at the top of the innings. And we are already looking at improving further and such support from a legend can only boost Rahane’s confidence further," he added.
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Ajinkya has been in terrific form in 2017 as he was named the Player of the series against West Indies in July and continued his good form in the ODI series against Australia that saw him score four consecutive centuries. In spite of that, he didn't find a place in the Indian T20 side as the selectors preferred Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma ahead of Rahane.
Recently, Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar lashed out at the Indian selectors for dropping Ajinkya from the T20I squad and demanded an explanation for the selection of KL Rahul.
"Rahane's omission is not understandable. He just scored four consecutive fifties (in the ODI series) - why is he not in the (T20I) team? Now, KL Rahul is a fine batsman. But he did not play a single game in the five one-dayers. So why is he in the (T20I) team and not Rahane who scored four half-centuries. Some reason has to be given by the selection committee to say that Rahul is such a better player than Rahane in the one-day game, in the T20 format," Gavaskar said.
India take on Australia in a three-match T20I series that gets underway on October 7 in MS Dhoni's hometown Ranchi before moving to Guwahati and Hyderabad for the second and third T20Is.
In the meantime, Ajinkya might feature in the Mumbai's Ranji Trophy team in the team's first match of the season against Madhya Pradesh from October 14.
Without a doubt, Ajinkya has been outstanding in the ODI formats in the recent past as he has silenced all his critics in style. But, that doesn't mean that he is guaranteed a place in the T20I side as he is someone who struggles to score runs quickly in the format and at the same time, India have better options than the Mumbaikar for the shortest version of the game.