‘Even Dhoni has spoken about Rahane’s...': Ex-India batter busts 'wrong' perception after WTC final squad announcement

Apr 27, 2023 08:11 AM IST

Apart from the calming influence of MS Dhoni, he has benefitted from his association with batting coach Mike Hussey.

Ajinkya Rahane has been quite the story. He was nowhere in the scheme of things ever since losing his spot in the Indian Test side post the South Africa series last year. He did not find a place in the BCCI Central Contracts, announced last month, for the first time in a decade. He was not even in Chennai Super Kings' first XI in IPL 2023. But everything started to change from the first week of April. He stunned everyone with his six-hitting abilities on his return to the IPL against Mumbai Indians and played back-to-back impact innings against RCB and RR to prove it was not a fluke. Rahane meant business.

MS Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane(CSK)
MS Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane(CSK)

The stars started to align. A back injury to Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant's absence meant India needed an experienced batter for the World Test Championship final against Australia in English conditions. There was none better than Rahane, who had also shown in The Ranji Trophy that the hunger is there.

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Also read: IPL 2023 Points Table: Kohli climbs to second position in Orange Cap race, Siraj top in Purple Cap list

Pravin Amre, who has coached Rahane at regular intervals, saw the irony in the fact that he started his international cricket in a T20 game, against England in 2011, and has made a comeback on the strength of his runs in the T20 tournament.

“We just reminded him how he came into the international arena through T20 (39-ball 61 at Old Trafford, in August 2011). It’s a coincidence that his T20 performance has helped him make a comeback. Hard work always pays, when he was dropped nobody thought he will come back. He had a very good Ranji season, and got a double hundred. We are seeing the new version of Ajinkya, people are really surprised the way he is hitting the ball so long while playing proper cricketing shots,” Amre told Hindustan Times.

Apart from the calming influence of MS Dhoni, he has benefitted from his association with batting coach Mike Hussey. For Rahane, the key to batting is having clarity of mind. It comes when your game is in good space. The perfection in the execution of his strokes stands out. It is helping him clear the fence effortlessly. A strike rate of 199 is proof.

“His game is built on timing and he has got it back," said Amre. “Even Dhoni has spoken about his technique. People wrongly say that technique is not important in T20s. I am very happy because as coaches we always insisted on technique, it really matters in T20.”

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