Being brought up in the playing grounds of Mumbai—India’s factory for churning International Cricketers, Ajinkya Rahane has had a steady ascent at the top. With his rock-steady technique and soft demeanor, the Mumbai batsman has carved a unique identity of his own.
Former Australian captain Steve Waugh has compared Rahane to the batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar due to his compact technique, range of shots and temperament.
Ajinkya Rahane: Along the years
Made First-Class debut for Mumbai
T20 debut for India vs England
ODI debut for India vs England
Bought by Rajasthan Royals
Maiden IPL century
Test debut for India vs Australia
Maiden Test Ton vs New Zealand
Made a Test ton on first appearance at Lord's
Went to Rising Pune Supergiants
Won Arjuna Award
Came back to Rajasthan Royals by RTM card
Bought by Delhi Capitals for IPL 2020
5th Indian Batsman to score centuries in each innings of a Test
Highest number of catches by a non wicketkeeper in a single Test match (8)
9th Indian player to win the first test match as a captain.
3rd Indian batsman to score a century on County Debut after Piyush Chawla and Murali Vijay.
1st Indian 'Player of the Match' of the World Test Championship.
1st Indian to score century in World Test Championship.
Rahane became the fourth Indian batsman to post a Test century on his first appearance at Lord's
M A Chidambaram Trophy for best Under-19 cricketer: 2006–07
Named in Cricinfo CLT20 XI in 2013
CEAT Indian Cricketer of the Year: 2014–15
Named in Cricinfo IPL XI in 2015
Rahane started playing Cricket at the age of 7 when his father took him to a coaching camp in Dombivli. At 17, he was coached by Pravin Amre. He played a U19 match representing India against New Zealand before getting selected to play in the Mohammad Nissar Trophy in Karachi.
He made his first-class debut for Mumbai at 19 while playing against Karachi Urban in September 2007. He scored 143 on his debut match which made him get selected for the Irani Trophy match against Rest of India.
He made his Ranji Trophy debut for Mumbai in 2007-08 season. He performed impressively well and got selected to play in Duleep Trophy representing West Zone. In the second season, he piled up over a 1000 runs which helped Mumbai win its 38th Ranji Title. He notched up his highest first-class score of 265 not out against Hyderabad in the next season. After scoring 1000 runs in the 2010-11 season, he succeeded in scoring 1000 runs in 3 consecutive seasons.
After being in and out of the Indian side, Rahane came back in the domestic circuit but his form saw a bit of a dip during the Ranji Trophy season of 2017/18, as Mumbai uncharacteristically failed to get past the quarter-final stages and Rahane got his first duck in Ranji cricket since 2008.
In the initial years, Ajinkya Rahane played for his native franchise, the Mumbai Indians. As he was a rookie uncapped player at that point, not many opportunities arrived and it was not until his shift to Rajasthan Royals that Rahane started to show consistency in the IPL.
He has played for Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals and Rising Pune Supergiant in the IPL. With very limited opportunities in Mumbai he moved to Rajasthan in 2012 and scored a match-winning 98 in the season’s first match.
The 2012 season was his breakthrough year in the tournament, amassing over 550 runs at a healthy strike rate, including his maiden IPL century. In fact, the years 2012-16 saw Rahane cementing his position as one of the most consistent performers in the tournament’s history.
His tenure with Rising Pune Supergiants was bit topsy-turvy but he managed to provide good starts to the franchise and after RPS got defunct, Rahane was snapped back by Rajasthan Royals.
Following the retirement of stalwarts like VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid, the Indian selectors started the process of blooding the youngsters for the big stage. After a year in and out of the team, and 16 months on the bench, an injury to Shikhar Dhawan finally got Rahane the most desirable piece of attire in Indian cricket – Test cap number 278.
Rahane played in the Investec Test Series (India tour of England, 2014) in England and instantly made an impression. He hit a magnificent century on his first appearance at the Lord's and went up the honours board. Rahane's century ensured that India won at Lord's after a long wait of 28 years.
He made his ODI debut against England in Chester-le-Street where he scored 40 runs at a strike rate of 90. He performed well in that series and subsequent return series in which he scored his debut 50. He failed to perform well in the following series against West Indies, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Despite being a vital cog in the Test line-up, Rahane continues to go in and out of the ODI side. He did, however, do well enough to be given a ticket to the 2015 World Cup in Australia, where he performed admirably in the middle-order, playing a vital knock of 79 against South Africa.
He was overlooked for the 2019 World Cup squad that went to England. Despite India's number 4 batting problems and Rahane's excellent record in England, the selectors gave him the side-eye. His exclusion drew wrath of lot of cricket pundits as ultimately India paid the price of a fragile middle-order in the Semi-finals.
Rahane made his international debut for India in a Twenty20 International against England at Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester in August 2011. He scored a half-century on this match (61 of 49) against an England attack comprising Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan. The match was the only T20I played by former Indian captain Rahul Dravid.
In 2015, he was appointed as the captain for ODI and T20’s for the tour of Zimbabwe.
In March 2017, he captained the Indian Test team in the 4th Test against Australia as Virat Kohli was injured. India won that match by eight wickets to regain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
Ajinkya Rahane was born in Ashwi KD, Ahmednagar district to Madhukar Baburao Rahane and Sujata Rahane. The family came from the village of Chandanapuri, Tal-Sangamner. He has a younger brother and sister, Shashank and Apurva Rahane. At the age of seven, Madhukar Rahane took Ajinkya to a small coaching camp with a matting wicket in Dombivli as they could not afford proper coaching. From the age of 17, he took coaching from former India batsman Pravin Amre.
Ajinkya Rahane married his childhood sweetheart Radhika Dhopavkar in 2014 and they have a beautiful daughter together, born on 5 October 2019.