Ajinkya Rahane – the ‘silent performer’ : A tally of 243 runs from four Test innings, remaining unbeaten on 2 occasions, at an average of 121.50 and an unbeaten 108* runs as the best individual score, in the ongoing Test series against West Indies, definitely speaks a lot about the 28-year old, Ajinkya Rahane, who has been performing silently. He has just made his willow do the talking and quite rightly so.
He ranks second in the ‘top scorers’ list after his skipper, Virat Kohli. There is one more Test yet to be played.
Rahane has been a consistent performer in all formats of the game.
The young Ajinkya Rahane was the first centurion in the Gandhi-Mandela Test series against South Africa in December 2015. He scored 127 runs in the first innings and put up a 98-run partnership for the eighth wicket along with Ravichandran Ashwin in the Fourth and Final Test at Firoz Shah Kotla.
This was his first century on Indian soil after he had gone past the triple figures in Australia, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Ajinkya Madhukar Rahane, who has evolved as the most dependable batsman in the team over a short period of time, has come a long way since he made his Test debut on 22nd March 2013, against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, played at the same Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi.
Rahane, who has been amongst the runs for the last 27 months or so in Tests and ODIs, admits his Test century at Lord’s remains very close to his heart.
“Every hundred is special, be it at Wellington or at Lord’s. But yes this is special because I have done this at Lord’s. I was a little nervous last night because this is my first match at this ground. But I calmed down in the morning realising that all I need to do was bat patiently until I face 25-30 deliveries and then see how it will go,” Rahane had said on his scoring his second Test century at Lord’s, the Mecca of World Cricket.
“I was telling myself to play as close to the body as possible. After 25-35 runs, I started taking my chances. It was challenging and a completely different wicket. I had a good partnership with Bhuvneshwar. When he first came in to bat, I asked him if he was okay with me taking singles early in the over. And he said he was confident, so I trusted him”, he added.
Ajinkya had a reasonably good Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2014-15 series, Down Under, even though the team had a very bad and a forgettable run. He registered a fine hundred in Melbourne. He scored 399 runs in the four-match Test series.
He was selected to the national team for the longer format after the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar. He performed exceedingly well in both the series against South Africa and New Zealand, scoring a century and a half-century in Wellington and Durban, respectively.
Definitely Rahane has established himself in international cricket and has made himself an integral part of Team India dressing room in all formats of the game.
In a recent interview with www.cricfit.com, the former Mumbai skipper, Amol Muzumdar, had said, “I have no doubt about the fact that Rahane should be a permanent member of the team in all formats. I have said this so many times that if you are good in Test, you are good in all formats. His basics and fundamentals are very strong.”