Is Ajinkya Rahane on the road to becoming India's next Mr. Dependable?
Till January 2012, India used to have the Mr. Dependable, Rahul Dravid, who could do almost anything that is there to be done on the cricket field. If India needed to survive the whole day to draw a Test Match, Rahul dropped the anchor. If Virender Sehwag got injured, Rahul was there to open the innings. If the team did not have a wicket keeper, Rahul wore the gloves. If the team needed a captain, Rahul took the responsibility. He was a complete team man. He was ready to do anything for the team.
Harsha Bhogle once said about him,” Ask him to walk on water today and he will say, Okay! How many kilometres?”
Such was his commitment and dedication. But since his retirement, India struggled for a few years to find a player who could be relied upon. They kept chopping and changing, tried experimenting with quite a few.
Then came up the ranks the batsman from Mumbai, Ajinkya Rahane. He has been around in the Indian Cricket scenario for a few years now. He has a tremendous record in domestic cricket. But he really made a name for himself after he did wonders for Rajasthan Royals. His potential to play at the highest level was clearly visible.
He got selected to play for the Indian Test team and made a very nervous start against Australia at Delhi, which is his only Test match in India till date. Since then he never looked back. Hundreds in New Zealand, England, Australia and Sri Lanka, scores of 90 odds in South Africa and Bangladesh have proved that India is assured with his presence.
Not being in limelight
In a country like India where the popularity of cricket is very highly influenced by the great Sachin Tendulkar, and most young cricketers claim him to be their idol, but here is Ajinkya who fearlessly states that his idol is the Wall Rahul Dravid.
He is indeed very lucky that he got the chance to share the dressing room with Rahul during his stint with Rajasthan Royals. They used to open the innings and from both ends, a high class and stylish cricket was on display. Much like his idol, Ajinkya is also a great team man. He is ready to bat at any position the team wants him to. Dhawan gets injured, Ajinkya will open. The team needs a no. 3 batsman in Test, Ajinkya will put his hand up. Catches getting dropped in slips, Ajinkya will provide the stability.
Ajinkya is one of those players who won’t be in the limelight like others – he doesn’t have fancy tattoos, he never shows his dissent to the umpire even if he becomes a victim of a bad decision. He never replies to the fiery and abusive fast bowlers with words, he lets his bat do the talking, he is humble in all his interviews very similar to what his idol used to do.
Where Rahul holds the record for the most number of catches in Test matches, Ajinkya now holds the record for the most number of catches in one Test match. He simply and surely is following the path set by Rahul. Though this is very early to compare the two, and he has a huge mountain to climb to match the greatness that Rahul has achieved, but if there is somebody who can do it, it is Ajinkya Rahane.