Ajinkya Rahane 2.0: From IPL Comeback, WTC Final Heroics To Reclaiming Vice-Captain's Position In Test
In the crucial WTC final against Australia, Rahane's impact was immediate and significant. His resilient innings of 89 in the first innings saved India from an embarrassing situation.
In recent months, Ajinkya Rahane has experienced a remarkable turnaround in his fortunes. After an impressive domestic season and a stellar performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2023) for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) under the leadership of MS Dhoni, Rahane's trajectory has taken a dramatic shift. Previously dropped from the Indian Test team following the series against South Africa and largely disregarded, he made a remarkable comeback fueled by his exceptional performance in the cash-rich league. This resurgence paved the way for his inclusion in the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
_Dropped from Test Team.
_Remove from BCCI's Central Contact.
_Performed in domestic & IPL.
_Comeback in Test team after 512 days.
_Most runs for India in WTC Final.
_Appointed as Vice Captain in WI Tests.
What a Incredible journey of Ajinkya Rahane - TAKE A BOW, RAHANE. pic.twitter.com/ueJqQw7uUL — CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) June 23, 2023
Also Read: 'CSK Quota?...', Fans Question Ruturaj Gaikwad's Selection As BCCI Ignore Sarfaraz, Easwaran & Panchal For Test Series Vs West Indies
In the crucial WTC final against Australia, Rahane's impact was immediate and significant. His resilient innings of 89 in the first innings saved India from an embarrassing situation. Without his contribution, led by Rohit Sharma, India might have faced the follow-on and struggled to extend the match to the fifth day. Rahane emerged as the highest run-scorer for India in the match, solidifying his position in the Test side for the upcoming series against West Indies.
Not only did the selectors reward Rahane with a place in the 16-man squad, but they also entrusted him with the vice-captaincy. In the event that India's captain, Rohit Sharma, sustains an injury or takes a break during the Test match against West Indies, Rahane will assume the captain's responsibilities on the field. This decision by the selectors carries immense significance, especially considering that Rahane was not even in India's plans earlier in the year during the Border-Gavaskar series against Australia.
To be fair, the selectors found themselves with limited alternatives and ultimately had to turn to Rahane. Cheteshwar Pujara was excluded from the Test squad, making way for Ruturaj Gaikwad and Yashasvi Jaiswal. Another notable omission was Mohammed Shami. With two senior players absent from the Test team, the selectors had to consider other potential options, such as Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ravichandran Ashwin.
It is highly unlikely that Kohli's name was discussed in the meeting, as he has repeatedly expressed his desire to step away from leadership responsibilities. Jadeja's captaincy stint for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL was far from successful. Thus, the decision likely came down to Rahane and Ashwin. Given Rahane's prior experience in a similar role earlier in his career, it made logical sense to entrust him with the responsibility. Considering the absence of KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, and Jasprit Bumrah from the series, Rahane emerged as the most sensible choice for the upcoming tour of West Indies.