'Rahane can't be called man in crisis': Manjrekar drops thunderbolt despite India star's colossal 89 in WTC Final
The former India batter made a strong remark on Ajinkya Rahane after the latter's brilliant 89-run knock during the WTC Final.
Team India batter Ajinkya Rahane made a brilliant comeback after being away from the Test side for over an year, as he smashed 89 in the side's first innings in the World Test Championship final against Australia. Rahane bailed India out of a tricky spot, holding one end after the side faced a batting collapse, with none of the top-4 breaching the 20-run mark. The 35-year-old batter forged a 109-run stand alongside Shardul Thakur (51), eventually steering India to a competitive score of 296.
Rahane was dropped from the Indian team following a series of inconsistent performances in February last year; since then, he produced strong performances in the domestic cricket and enjoyed a stellar outing in the 2023 Indian Premier League, eventually earning a way back into the side. Rahane's addition was also backed by Shreyas Iyer's back injury, and his place in the XI was all but certain when KL Rahul also suffered from a hamstring injury during the IPL season.
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With certain tweaks in his game, Rahane ensured an assured presence in the middle for India in the first innings, and justifiably received praise from fans and former cricketers alike. However, former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar believes that labelling Rahane as the side's ‘crisis man’ would be too far fetched for now.
“I don't think Ajinkya Rahane can be called a batter in crisis. There's another innings to go, the crisis has to be averted in a way that you either draw or win the game. But this innings, solely on the kind of odds... he's done brilliant,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
“To call him the player in crisis... he has played an odd innings, but the old Ajinkya Rahane would follow it with low scores. Who knows, the new Ajinkya Rahane could be the Test batter 2.0. Maybe, he can carry it in the second innings as well,” the former India batter further said.
Incidentally, during his on-air commentary on Star Sports, former India captain and batting great Sunil Gavaskar said that Rahane has “always risen to the occasion” and has often bailed India out of trouble.
“Look at the hundreds he scored, they have mostly been when India were in trouble. He has always risen to the occasion; he has a sense of the occasion. He's one of those low-profile players who won't be thumping his chest when he gets to a half-century or a century. He just raises his bat, goes about his business quietly, but assuredly,” Gavaskar had said.