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Why dropping Ajinkya Rahane for the T20 series makes sense

Reasons why dropping Ajinkya Rahane from the T20 squad is justified.

Top 5 / Top 10 07 Oct 2017, 00:38 IST

Rahane isn't as well built as some of the best T20 openers in the world
On a slow pitch, Rahane lacks the ability to clear the infield regularly

Ajinkya Rahane is undoubtedly one of India’s finest batsmen. The Indian Test team vice-captain is one of my favourite players and it was disappointing to hear the news that he was dropped from the squad to face the Australians in the upcoming T20 series. It seemed a bit odd to drop the player who scored four consecutive fifties in the recently concluded ODI series, at an average of 49.

However, going by the demands of the shortest version of the gentleman’s game, the decision makes sense. Here are five reasons why I think dropping him was the right decision:

#1 Free-flowing openers

Had he been selected, Rahane would most likely open the innings. Currently, the best openers in the T20 format are Rohit Sharma (India), Evin Lewis (West Indies) and Alex Hales (England). They possess the ability to clear the field with ease and are always willing to take chances to get quick-fire runs.

Rahane, on the other hand, is more of a classical batsman. He struggles to get going when the pitch lacks pace and he has to make up for it by consistently hitting the ball out of the 30-yard circle. Whilst there will always be a place for the calm and composed batsman in T20s, as Hashim Amla has shown over the years, Rahane finds himself pipped for the opening slot by Shikhar Dhawan who has a better strike rate (105.35) than Rahane's (96.95) in limited overs cricket (ODIs + T20Is + IPL).

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