What’s the story?
Ajinkya Rahane was Virat Kohli’s deputy in the long home season for Test matches. But in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, because of his lesser-known credentials in limited-overs-cricket, he was the 12th man.
However, from being a batting mainstay and vice-captain one month to a drinks-carrier the next, did not affect Rahane, for whom representing the country in any role is a matter of pride.
"If I am the vice-captain of the Test team, it does not mean that I will not be performing my duties as a 12th man in ODIs. The moment you are representing your country, you are supposed to do whatever you are assigned. When I was carrying drinks during the Champions Trophy, I had no ego issues. That's how I am as a person," Rahane told Press Trust of India.
Rahane was drafted into the playing XI of India vs West Indies ODI series in place of a rested Rohit Sharma. However, the 29-year-old is not insecure of his uncertain position.
"This is a great phase in Indian cricket where we have so many top quality players competing for a place in the Indian team. It's always good to have competition. As far as I am concerned, I have never ever been insecure in my life." he said.
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Rahane, in absence of Sharma, made a successful comeback into the ODI playing XI. With 336 runs from five ODIs, the left-hander emerged as the top run-getter in the West Indies tournament, which also won him the Man of the Series award.
However, since Rohit Sharma has returned for the upcoming Sri Lanka tour, Rahane, in all likeliness, will once again have to sit in the dressing room.
The heart of the matter
Rahane also said that he is willing to bat at any vacant slot in the limited overs cricket, but doesn’t want to look too far ahead. He emphasised on living in the present and keeping things simple.
When asked about his preparations for the Sri Lanka tour, the opener said that Islanders’ drubbing at the hands of Zimbabwe does not mean they can be taken lightly, since they boast of competitive players who, on their day, can be threatening.
India and Sri Lanka will play 5 ODIs, 4 Tests and1 T20 from July 21 to September 6. While Rahane’s place in the Test playing XI is certain, his ODI slot is still uncertain.
Although Rahane has now proved his mettle in limited-overs-cricket, the elegant left-hander’s opening slot will always be in quandary as long as Rohit Sharma continues to put up dominating performances.Published 15 Jul 2017, 14:17 IST