Has Ajinkya Rahane Revived His India Career Post The Heroic IPL Knock?
A few years back, let us suppose in 2014 or 2013, if you were to tell someone that a knock in a franchise based T20 league could merit selection in the national side, then one’s just not sure how many around would’ve believed such a thing.
But today’s cricket is a bit different; it’s a product of several opportunities that one gets nowadays to prove one’s worth, thereby urging the selectors, for as long as the performances are there, to make the right decision.
Maybe the above is something that will come to fruition where it comes to a certain Ajinkya Rahane.
Fact is that 34, Ajinkya Rahane is no spring chicken; he is not getting any younger. Life, especially in the everyday tussle that is the Indian national cricket, cannot come easy or be smooth for the experienced campaigner. Well, not when the famous Mumbai-born batter is up against youngsters several years his junior.
There’s Shubman Gill. There’s Ishan Kishan. A fit again Shreyas Iyer will once seem formidable. This troika is already compelling. Then amid such existential predicament the call that national duties may again feature for Ajinkya Rahane is a bid over the top, if not entirely silly.
And while on his part, the only thing that Ajinkya Rahane can do is to conjure vital runs, it can be seen that he is doing that and rather nicely so.
The world doesn’t pay much attention when cricketers drag their body through the drudge often repeatedly in the domestic forms of cricket. But when you do excel at the Indian Premier League, the world gets a window seat display of your antics.
And the antics of Ajinkya Rahane, as seen the other evening, were compelling and imbued a sense of belief that was really refreshing. It rubbed off well on the rest of his team.
Rather fittingly, Ajinkya Rahane’s vital half century in the ongoing edition of the IPL came against the most successful franchise of them all: Mumbai Indians.
The swashbuckling knock of 61, timely and glorious that it was, once again put the focus back on a player who’s perhaps seen better days in the past.
He was, lest it is forgotten, the captain of the Test side in the absence of the great Virat Kohli on that blistering tour to Australia. But that wasn’t before Rahane’s watchful eyes guarded the team in the capacity of the vice captain.
Here he is now. Here he is, once again.
In the very first opportunity this season, the batsman who, once upon a time was expected to carry forward the Rahul Dravid legacy, has answered his critics and rather remarkably.
Though, on the face of it these may be 61 runs and no more; they have certainly lifted the self confidence of a batter who is blossoming.
As a matter of fact, Ajinkya Rahane has even shared convincingly about his possible return to the Indian Cricket team that, “I won’t ever give up“.
At an age where many perhaps out of exhaustion or owing to truncated international careers thanks to injuries are often hanging out in the commentary box or the post match analysis sessions, this is a bold statement by a batsman who’s still hanging out on the 22 yards. And doing so rather well!