Ajinkya Rahane’s struggle against spin in Deodhar Trophy exposes his white-ball game

Ajinkya Rahane’s struggle against spin in Deodhar Trophy exposes his white-ball game

Rahane has played 90 ODIs and has scored 2,962 runs at an average of 35.26.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane of India bats. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

After an ordinary Test series against England, Ajinkya Rahane had a decent outing in Vijay Hazare Trophy and also scored a fifty in the second Test against the Windies. However, he returned to play the remaining part of the domestic first-class tournament but failed to score big in the semi-final and final. On Wednesday, India’s Test vice-captain led India ‘C’ in the Deodhar Trophy but failed to impress with the bat even as Hanuma Vihari, one of India’s latest Test entrants, excelled with the willow.

In the game between India ‘C’ and India ‘B’, India ‘B’ skipper Shreyas Iyer won the toss and elected to bat. Vihari, who came out to bat at No.4, applied himself very well on a turner at Firoz Shah Kotla, to score a crucial 76 off 94 balls. It was his second consecutive half-century after the 87 not out he hit against India ‘A’ on Tuesday for a winning cause.

Rahane, on the other hand, failed to rise to the challenge as he managed just 32 off 61 balls and his side perished to a 30-run defeat. He has another chance to make amends in the game against India ‘A’ on Thursday, which is a virtual semi-final now as India ‘B’ has already qualified for the finals.

Rahane failed to break the shackles

He came out to open against India ‘C’ hoping to score some quick runs and bring him back into the reckoning for the ODI side in the run-up to the World Cup 2019. But the 31-year-old could not have a free hand to score and the asking run rate kept on heading north. A man who was so fluent against spin at the highest level not so long ago was found struggling on a turner and he eventually perished against off-break bowler Krishnappa Gowtham in the 19th over with just 65 on board.

Rahane is not known to be a dashing batsman suitable for brisk scoring in the limited-over format but his struggle to keep pace with the game even in a domestic game shows that his game in white-ball cricket requires a lot of updating if he has to keep the dream of representing India in the World Cup alive.

Rahane has played 90 ODIs and has scored 2,962 runs at an average of 35.26. He last played a 50-over game for India in February against South Africa.

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