Experienced Indian batter and West Zone captain Ajinkya Rahane has stated that he is looking forward to taking the field in the upcoming 2022 Duleep Trophy. The right-hander was last seen in the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) before he was suffered a hamstring injury.
Prior to the IPL, Rahane was on the lookout to reclaim his spot in the Team India squad after being dropped following their tour of South Africa. He represented Mumbai in the first half of the recently concluded Ranji trophy campaign under Prithvi Shaw.
However, he missed the team's run to the final in the second leg due to injury.
Rahane has now stated that his recovery at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru went well. He told reporters ahead of West Zone's opening encounter against North East Zone:
"The recovery has been good. I was in NCA for a couple of months. The NCA staff and BCCI looked after me really well. I'm completely fit, and this is my first game after injury."
Looking forward to starting from scratch, he added:
"For me, I don't want to think about my past or future; it's about being in the moment, and that's why I said I want to start from zero again. You always get goosebumps when you go on the field, and I always like that feeling."
The middle-order batter was axed from the Test squad with management preferring the likes of Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer. Since the start of 2021, he has only been able to compile three fifties. The poor form of his fellow middle-order batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli has not helped the team's cause either.
"We will see what happens in the future" - Ajinkya Rahane not eyeing a comeback with domestic cricket stint
Apart from Rahane, Pujara was also dropped from the Test team due to poor form. However, the Saurashtra-born batter was able to reclaim his spot on the back of a successful county stint with Sussex in England.
Rahane's lukewarm IPL stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders and a mediocre set of scores in the Ranji trophy set him back a couple of months. The untimely injury played a major role as well.
He has now asserted that he is only focused on the match at hand rather than his future with the Indian team. The West Zone captain said:
"We will see what happens in the future, but I believe it's important to be in the moment and focus on what's in hand right now rather than focus on your future."
West Zone will take on the Hokaito Zhimomi-led North East Zone in the opening clash of the 2022 Duleep Trophy at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The match will take place on Thursday, September 8.
Do you think Ajinkya Rahane will make a comeback to the Indian team in the near future? Let us know what you think.