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There is no question about Rahane’s skill-set in ODIs: VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman has also lauded the leadership skills of Ajinkya Rahane.

Ajinkya Rahane celebrates after scoring
India’s Ajinkya Rahane.
(Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

29-year old Ajinkya Rahane had an impressive tour of West Indies, earlier this year. He scored 336 runs at an average of 67.20, along with a hundred in the 5-match ODI series. But he wasn’t the preferred choice when it came to the limited overs series against Sri Lanka. India went with opener Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, and both the openers made it count. While Dhawan scored a hundred in the 1st ODI, Sharma scored successive tons in the ODI series.

Rahane got his opportunity, once Dhawan went back home, to be with his ailing mother. Rahane scored just 5 runs in that match, and didn’t feature in the T20I game. KL Rahul was picked as an option in the middle order and in-form Manish Pandey was backed to do the job.

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Laxman hails Rahane: The leader

Former legendary cricketer VV Laxman feels that Rahane is a leader, and there is no question about his skill-set in limited overs cricket. He said “Rahane is a leader within the group. He captained brilliantly in Dharamsala (in the fourth Test win over Australia). He was Man-of-the-Series in the West Indies. Rahane has more often than not played in ODIs as an opener. But he is in the mix.”

Rahane is the third opener: Kohli

Captain Virat Kohli had earlier addressed the issue surrounding Rahane’s spot in the ODI team. He said that Rahane is the third opener of the side, as Dhawan is an impact player while Rohit too has got an impressive record under his belt.

“We certainly back him (Rahane) because he has been shifted around a bit in the batting order, which is not healthy for a guy, who likes to open in the shorter format. I think he (Rahane) is much more relaxed after that West Indies series. Yes, he felt the pressure before but he has overcome that now. He is enjoying his cricket,” Kohli said

“Shikhar Dhawan is an impact player. Shikhar and Rohit, we know what they have done (achieved) in the past together. We understand their potential also Jinks (Rahane’s nickname) understands that at this stage, he is the third opener in the team,” Kohli mentioned.

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