"It is going to be a very important 6 to 8 months for his career in Test cricket" - Dinesh Karthik on Ajinkya Rahane's comeback 

England v India - Second LV= Insurance Test Match: Day Four
Ajinkya Rahane is bound to play a crucial role in the WTC Final

Veteran wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik recently spoke about Ajinkya Rahane's resounding form that has led to the batter's comeback in national colors. On the back of his domestic form as well as his exploits with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the ongoing 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL), Rahane was included in the Indian squad for the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia.

Rahane was acquired by CSK for his base price at the 2023 mini-auction. He was called into action following Ben Stokes' injury and proceeded to make the No.3 spot his own in the batting order. The Mumbai-born batter has scored 299 runs in 10 innings at a strike rate of 169.89 in IPL 2023.

Opining that Rahane is back to his best ahead of the WTC final, Dinesh Karthik told ICC:

"I think he has got his mojo back. He is in good rhythm, he is in good confidence, he is always known to do well outside India. It is going to be a very important six to eight months for his career in Test cricket."

Karthik continued:

"He has done so well for CSK when he came back. The way that he has batted, the intent that he has showed, he has shown that he is in a good mindspace and that is something that is very important for the batter."

Apart from his good form, an injury to Shreyas Iyer played a role in Rahane returning to the Indian squad. Iyer is slated to be out of contention for a prolonged period due to his persistent back injury.

Rahane's last Test appearance came in January 2022

Ajinkya Rahane, along with the rest of the Indian middle order faced a huge struggle in terms of run-scoring across the last couple of years. The experienced batter was dropped from the team altogether after the Men in Blue's series loss against South Africa away from home.

He was not considered for the home series against Sri Lanka, the away series against Bangladesh or the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy as well.

In the meantime, he played for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy and was heavily among the runs, leading to his return to the national team.

Ajinkya Rahane also has a relatively good record in England over the years, with experience mattering the most.

He scored a memorable ton in India's famous win at The Lord's in 2014. Overall, he has played 15 Tests in England, scoring 729 runs at an average of 26.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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