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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Cricket

Coach Amre backs ward for Test debut
Firoz Mirza & MVL Manikantan, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, March 22, 2013
First Published: 00:10 IST(22/3/2013)
Last Updated: 00:11 IST(22/3/2013)

There was a time when Mumbai had a conveyor-belt like contribution to the India team. The city boasts of the strongest cricket culture in the country, but currently there are just two players from Mumbai in the Test squad — Sachin Tendulkar and Ajinkya Rahane.

While Tendulkar is on the last leg of his celebrated career, Rahane may finally get his break in the playing XI for the fourth Test against Australia in New Delhi.

And what else can the Mumbai boy wish for than to receive his Test cap from the maestro himself on Friday.

“This is the best time to give Rahane a chance in the longer format of the game. We have already won the series and there is nothing to lose,” said former Mumbai coach Praveen Amre, under whom Rahane made his Ranji debut.

“It would be a delight to watch him receiving the cap from Tendulkar. That would be amazing,” added Amre.

The former international cricketer always had an inkling of Rahane being good enough to play for the country ever since he saw him play for Mumbai.

Amre strongly believes that his ward has the qualities needed to succeed at the highest level.

“He's a typical Mumbaikar with sound technique and temperament and given a chance he will fulfill all the expectations people expect from a Mumbai batsman.”

Although Rahane plays in the top order for Mumbai, he is designated as a middle-order bat in India whites. “It was never a problem for him, he can also bat lower down,” said the former India batsman.

Rahane is being looked upon as the next flag-bearer of Mumbai's cricket legacy.


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