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Saturday, May 18, 2024
Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane

Age 35IndiaINDIA
Right Handed Batsman

Ajinkya Rahane, a right-handed top-order batsman from Mumbai is a perfect combination of talent, consistency and aggression. He made his First-Class debut for Mumbai in 2007. In only his second Ranji season, he piled up a mountain of 1089 runs, which was instrumental in Mumbai's 38th Ranji title triumph. He is one of the few players to have scored 1000 runs in a single Ranji season. Having represented Mumbai at all levels, Rahane was always seen as a bright prospect and most recently in early 2024, he captained Mumbai to a record-extending 42nd Ranji Trophy title.

Rahane scored runs for fun and his twin tons in the Emerging Players Trophy in Australia forced his way into the Indian ODI team in 2011. He showed both talent and elegance to stamp his authority early in his career. He traveled a lot with the Indian Test squad before finally getting a chance in the 2013 Test series against Australia.

Ajinkya didn’t have the best of debuts but he put it past him and only in his third Test, Rahane scored fifties in both innings in Durban. He was often the man for India away from home in a crisis, he showed that in his maiden Test ton in New Zealand. It was his brilliant century on a green deck at Lord’s in 2014 that really made the world take notice. It set up India’s first win at the venue in 28 years. On the tour Down Under, Rahane scored 399 runs in the four-match Test series. His class in whites has never been in question ever since then.

He didn’t quite shine in a similar fashion in ODIs but scored his maiden ton in Birmingham in 2014. He has had a dwindling time in the 50-over format though with the odd brilliant knock. His 79 against South Africa in the 2015 World Cup was particularly eye-catching. He has been in and out of the ODI side far too often for a player of his caliber.

In the home series in 2016-17, he only had one big score, when he registered his career-best Test score of 188 against the Kiwis. He fell away post that but chipped in with vital contributions against Australia. India depends a lot on him and it should be interesting to see how he adapts to changing batting styles in modern cricket.

In the Indian T20 League, he started with Mumbai but his real success came with Rajasthan. A prolific scorer for them at the top of the order, he was the perfect foil for many aggressive opening partners. He was bought by Pune in the 2016 edition of the tournament and had a fairly decent run. Once Rajasthan returned to the League after a 2-year hiatus, Rahane was once again roped in and also made the captain after Steven Smith’s involvement in the infamous sandpaper gate. He transitioned into the Delhi Capitals franchise for the 2020 and 2021 seasons and also played a vital role in helping his team to qualify for the finals in 2020. Despite a lackluster stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2022, Rahane was acquired by Chennai for his base price of INR 50 lacs, where he transitioned to aggressive batting, proving to be a valuable addition to the team. With around 4500 runs in the INDIAN T20 LEAGUE, Rahane ranks among the top 10 run-getters in the tournament's history.

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