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I deserve chances more consistently: Ajinkya Rahane

So far, Rahane has played 90 ODIs, averaging 35.62 and has a strike-rate of 78.63.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Twitter)

While Ajinkya Rahane continues to be one of India’s most important batsmen in Test cricket, the same cannot be said about him when it comes to One-Day Internationals and T20 Internationals. The Test vice-captain has fallen down the pecking order in ODIs as well as T20Is.

The right-handed batsman had got a golden opportunity to seal his place in the ODI team when he was asked to bat at number four in South Africa last year. He began the series with an impressive 86-ball 79. However, in the subsequent games, he could only manage scores of 11, 8, 8 and 34*. With India struggling to find a good player for the crucial number four spot, Rahane had the chance to cement his place in the team but his inconsistency did not help his cause.

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He then endured a tough season of Indian Premier League. Playing for Rajasthan Royals, he managed to score just 370 runs in 15 games with his poor strike-rate only making things worse for him. And as they say, one man’s loss is another man’s gain, Ambati Rayudu used the chance to break into the team. He performed exceedingly well and earned a recall from the ODI team after two years. As of now, Rayudu looks set to be India’s number four for at least the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales.

With a chance to break into the ODI looking bleak at the moment, Rahane has now finally opened up about the lack of consistency in his selection. Taking an indirect shot at the selectors, he said that it was high time he put his case forward and speak on the irregularity in selection.

“I am quite shy. I prefer to let my bat speak but sometimes it’s important to speak the truth,” Rahane told The Hindu in an interview. “I have always believed the team comes first and respected the management and the selectors’ decision. I will continue to do that. But in the end, it is important that your performance is recognized.”

“The point is that if as a player I have always played for the team, then I deserve chances more consistently. That’s the least I am asking,” he added.

Needs assurance from the team

In recent times, Rahane has been used at different positions in the batting order. Before being tried out at number four spot, he was used as an opener during the series against Windies and Australia in 2017. And while he said he would bat at any position for the team, he made it clear that he needed confidence and assurance from the team management.

“I said ‘whatever you prefer’ because the team wanted it,” Rahane said. “But every individual needs confidence and positive vibes like ‘yes, you are there and you are doing it for the team’. I think everyone knows that if someone is backing you, the player gets the confidence to play fearless and positive cricket.”

So far, Rahane has played 90 ODIs, averaging 35.62 and has a strike-rate of 78.63.

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