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Ajinkya Rahane – The Wall version 2.0 Under Construction

June 8, 2015


As the time passed, the game of cricket has seen so many changes compared to what it used to be even a decade ago. New shots have been invented, the most of which does not have anything to do with grammar. Batsmen have the licence to go out and hit the very first ball out of the park. V has changed its place from front of the wicket to the opposite side of the ground. May be we are not far away from getting to see triple hundreds scored by the individuals in ODIs while teams finding difficult to defend 250s in T20s more often. For a little old fashioned people like me, who find more pleasure in watching a video of Sachin Tendulkar’s test century rather than watching Chris Gayle smashing a 175 in a T20 match; the good news is that still we are left with a few of the batsmen who are gifted with sheer class and use it to perfection – one of them being Ajinkya Rahane.

When it comes to producing batsmen who look glorious while batting, very few countries in the world has produced as many as this part of the world has. And when it comes to the Indian cities producing such technicians, no other city has produced more than the one that created the master himself. Ajinkya Rahane is just another addition to the list of the great names that come from Mumbai. And why Mumbai has been like a factory producing the high quality batsmen? The players grow up practicing day in day out on the red soil that has equal assistance for both the seamers and spinners as the former get carry and the latter get turn and bounce off this track. Thus irrespective of the conditions players can get accustomed to it very quickly, which is the highest quality required to get yourself ready for the challenges of the international circuit. Hence this is probably the best place in India to practice and Rahane made the most of this opportunity.

On his debut for team India in England he looked a promising player having a wide range of shots. But after that he had been an in-and-out kind of a player for some time. From there he did exceptionally well to establish himself as an integral part of the men in blues in every format. He keeps his game very simple and concentrates on the basics to score his runs. He plays proper cricketing shots and relies more on the likes of cover drives and straight drives rather than ramp shots or edgy stuffs. He doesn’t always look to hit the ball too hard but he can find the gaps in copybook style. As a result now everyone can see how solid a player he is technically, calm temperamentally and strong mentally.

Many people keep saying that IPL has done more harm to the Indian cricket than good. But I would like to ask them to check not only the number of players it has given a break, but also the players it gave rebirth. Besides Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane is one of those players who belong to the latter category. Scoring consistent runs against top quality bowlers in IPL has taken his confidence one step forward to make him believe that he can score runs anywhere in the world. And what he also proved in the process is that if you stick to your basics, apply the things you learned from the coaching manuals and continue playing normal cricket, then there is hardly any reason that can prevent you from being successful, whatever the format you are in. Even in limited overs’ cricket, one doesn’t always need to be a big hitter provided he obeys the right formula to score the runs in the right way. That’s why even in T20s, the format which is supposed to be the hardest to remain consistent in; Rahane has often found himself amongst the top scorers of the tournaments held in last couple of years.

Since he plays every format with the similar vision, he doesn’t need to tune himself much and has to make little adjustments across the different versions played in different parts of the globe. This has helped him immensely while batting in the longer version of the game. We can’t judge the goodness of a player unless he scores good runs against the big teams in their home soil. Rahane has shown his character everywhere he has played against the red cherry. He scored his runs in South Africa, England and Australia announcing that in the coming days he is well prepared to take up many more of the new challenges in white. Pressure often brings out the best from him. In his maiden overseas test series in South Africa he scored hard-fought runs against the best bowling unit in the world. Wickets kept tumbling at the other end but he kept his composure. Every cricket fan will remember his century at Lord’s where his team kept losing wickets in quick succession, but he didn’t lose his head. He might have gone under the shadow of Virat Kohli in Australia, but nevertheless, he was the other of the two batsmen who together put up some fascinating stands there. At times being a critic one can’t do much but to admire his batting and wonder, if one can attain such great results playing orthodox cricket, then why the youngsters these days have other ideas!

The only thing I feel he would like to improve is his stats in the ODIs. He is a much better player than what his average suggests. We haven’t seen the best of him in that particular format of the game. For example he was supposed to play a vital role in the world cup, but he had a quiet one. Still, having said this, one have to say that he showed what he is capable of doing in the toughest match of the group league. Prior to that match, in their opening fixture he was held back for some strange reason, but the very next match he came up the order and easily played the innings of his life.

May be I am making a very big statement here, but his veteran technique, cool head and remarkable patience reminds me the memories of Rahul Dravid. I guess the legend himself has a decent contribution towards the improvement of Rahane over the past couple of years or so. Time will tell whether he makes justice to my statement or not, but I am pretty confident about Team India finding their new Mr. Dependable in form of Ajinkya Rahane.

  1. Pallavi Roy permalink

    really well said…. IPL gives us some good players….. Rahane is really a technically sound player…. he should keep his form for future also….

  2. Anamika chakraborty permalink

    Well said Sir… Rahane’s vital role on d ground reminds us of dravid.. From d coming ones… We expect good frm him….

  3. Tarak Nath Mandal permalink

    Very good post
    Only 11 players have scored 1000 runs in a single Ranji season, one of them is Ajinkya Rahane.
    It is great to see Ajinkya continue to grow as a cricketer and a person as well. Definitely Mr Dependable version 2.0

    • Yes, he is indeed a great find for the Indian team and the way he bats is a clear indication of the prolongation of his test career.

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