Ajinkya Rahane lost the plot, fighting hard to make a comeback into ODI side
India’s talented Ajinkya Rahane seems to have lost his sheen completely of late. His recent performances against England haven’t been up to scratch. However, he had a modest outing in Vijay Hazare Trophy tourney where he chipped in with a fifty in the second Test against the Windies.
Considering his potential to set the tone in the game, he didn’t live up to his expectations as he failed to up his ante in the semi-final and final. He captained India ‘C’ in the Deodhar Trophy but didn’t really show his true colours with the bat. It was India’s recent talent Hanuma Vihari caught the eye of the selectors once again.
During the game between India ‘C’ and India ‘B’, India ‘B’ skipper Shreyas Iyer won the toss to open the face of the blade. Vihari, who came out to bat at No.4, made use of the opportunity to good effect at Firoz Shah Kotla, where he scored a significant 76 off 94 balls, which was second consecutive half-century after the 87 not out he smashed against India ‘A’ on Tuesday that came on a winning cause.
Rahane, on the contrary, didn’t raise his bars as he managed just 32 off 61 balls and his side suffered a 30-run defeat. He has one more chance to showcase his mettle in the game against India ‘A’ on Thursday, in what will be a virtual semi-final now as India ‘B’ has already booked a place in the finals.
Rahane is under pressure now and his aim must be to assure a place in the ODI side in the build-up to the next World Cup. Even then, he struggled to play deftly against spin, which is certainly a shocking sign. He got out off Krishnappa Gowtham, an off-break bowler who ripped through Rahane’s defences to send him back to the pavilion.
So far, Rahane has played 90 ODIs and has scored 2,962 runs at a decent average of 35.26. His last match came against South Africa in February. Can Rahane make a real case for himself as a viable attacking option to prove that he has got everything in him to make a comeback into the Indian side? Only time will tell.