Rajasthan’s Rahane a Royal batsman in the making
Published - Apr 7, 2015 7:35 pm | Updated - Apr 7, 2015 7:35 pm
If there is any cricketer in this fashionable age of cricket displaying a classical touch to his batting then Ajinkya Madhukar Rahane comes to mind. Conventional in approach and contemporary in style, Rahane is a perfect blend of class and composure, qualities that are hard to find in today’s day and age.
Rahane’s batting is a natural extension to his personality. A calm, soft-spoken lad, never too excited about anything. A grounded individual, who comes across as a perfectionist, believes in keeping things simple. To him the process matters than waiting for the result
I still remember, in his early days with the Indian cricket team, for almost a year, Rahane was warming the benches. But the youngster displayed immense patience on the side-lines as much as he displays it in the middle today.
Rahane’s uncomplicated approach is clear indication that he has stuck to the basics of cricket. A simple stance, great balance gives Rahane a lot of options as a batsman. This makes him a more adaptable and versatile batsmen in different conditions and situations. Furthermore, all of this allows him to play more making it difficult for the opposition to set fields for him
A piece of statistic that reflects the ease with which he has settled into every condition is his performance as a Test batsman overseas. In South Africa, Rahane averaged 69.66 in his 4 innings missing his maiden overseas century by only four runs. But trust Rahane to prove his credentials at the most hostile conditions. Rahane followed it up with a century in each of his subsequent Tests series in New Zealand, England and Australia.
Rahane averaged 54.00 in New Zealand with a century in 3 innings. In England Rahane averaged 33.22 in his ten innings with 1 century and two fifties. Rahane scoring a fine century (103) as India beat England in the second Test at Lord’s last year and followed it up with two half tons (54 & 52 not out) in the third Test at Southampton.
Michael Vaughan, who followed the Pataudi trophy closely, was all praise for the middle order batsman. So much so that, Vaughan went on say Rahane has the ‘best technique’ among Indians and the youngster will be one of the ‘premier willow wielders’ in world cricket in the next four to five years. “I like Rahane. I think, he is the best technician among Indian players. He plays quicks and spin as well as anybody in the world. I think in the next four or five years, you’ll be talking a lot about Rahane.” Said the former England captain.
In Australia too, it was no different, as Rahane showed great consistency hitting a century and two fifties again, averaging a healthy 57.00 in his 8 innings. Not surprisingly he is one of the few cricketers in the Indian team who is labelled as an all format player. As much as he applies himself in the middle during a Test match, equally adventurous are his shots in a T20 match.
The best part about his batting across all formats is the use of the straight bat. However demanding the situation gets, Ajinkya plays with the straight bat. He has always displayed his liking for the shots in the V and when he has to get adventurous, he plays in the W.
There is no fuss whatsoever in his batting. He embraces every batting position offered to him by the team management only to do his best and make it his own. An uncompromising and selfless team man who today is an asset to this Indian side.
Not surprisingly, Dhoni very recently appreciated Rahane’s contribution and how he has developed as a cricketer. “Irrespective of the format, he has really improved. He is definitely one of the individuals who is not really rigid. He is quite open to ideas. He is quite open to try new things, and once he tries it out, he gives you a good response as to whether it’s working or not working for him.”
For those who have followed Ajinkya Rahane’s cricket since his playing days for the Mumbai Ranji team would not be surprised by Rahane’s steady progress at the international stage. He powered himself to the Indian side after consistently amassing run in the domestic cricket.
Rahane has brought in a lot of solidity, stability and above all calmness to the Indian middle order and trust him to bring the same assurance and intensity into the Rajasthan Royals squad.
In the 2012 edition of IPL Rahane hammered 560 runs, In 2013, he scored 488 runs and in 2014 Rahane hit 339 runs for Rajasthan. Trust him to once again surpass all expectations. He is a vital member in Rajasthan’s plans and expect him to thrill his fans with another brilliant display of attacking cricket.