Ajinkya Rahane said on Saturday that he is enjoying the batting after CSK’s management and captain MS Dhoni gave him clarity of the role in the team.
Rahane last featured in Tests for India in January 2022 and has since been out of favour in the red-ball setup. Before being dropped, Rahane had a horrendous 2021 where he scored just 479 runs in 13 Tests at an average of 20.82. His last Test century came at the MCG in the memorable Border-Gavaskar series of 2020/21 where he captained India’s comeback after the dismal 36 all out.
However, he has been selected to the Indian squad for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia which will be held at England from June 7 onwards, considering his form in IPL and first class cricket.
“Enjoying my batting now. The domestic season was quite good, I batted well. Trying to learn something everyday. The format is such that you have to grow all the time. Management and captain have given me role clarity, that gives a certain freedom,” said Rahane before the match against Mumbai Indians (MI) at Chennai.
“I was told at the start of the season what my role will be. I was given the freedom to play my game. Every year you can see the improvement in this league – be it in individual players or teams,” he added.
In the Ranji Trophy 2022-23, Rahane scored 634 runs in 11 innings at an average of 57.64. he had also clinched two centuries and fifties in that tournament. He also had a great Vijay Hazare Trophy, scoring 263 runs in seven matches at an average of 65.75, with two half-centuries. He also scored a double century in Duleep Trophy last year, scoring 250 runs in five innings across three matches.
He carried this great domestic cricket form into the IPL, having scored 224 runs in seven matches with an average of 44.80 and 2 fifties. He has a strike rate above 189.
Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni winning the toss has opted to field against MI at MA Chidambaram Stadium.
CSK (Playing XI): Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Ajinkya Rahane, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni(w/c), Deepak Chahar, Matheesha Pathirana, Tushar Deshpande, Maheesh Theekshana.
MI (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), Ishan Kishan(w), Cameron Green, Suryakumar Yadav, Tristan Stubbs, Tim David, Nehal Wadhera, Jofra Archer, Piyush Chawla, Akash Madhwal, Arshad Khan. (ANI)