Cricket

Rahane Must Start Against Kangaroos

A condition which demands sheer power to mentally bludgeon the
opposition, Ajinkya Rahane is found just too noble a man. As India go
head to head  against Australia with a do-or-die situation for
Dhoni’s men, Ajinkya must start.

Ajinkya has made a name for himself after some stellar performances in
the past year & a half. It’s not just in Tests or ODIs, his orange cap
in last edition of IPL stamps his authority & speaks a lot about him.
He hasn’t done much wrong, still, he’s seen struggling for his slot in
the team. With Dhawan-Sharma combo failing game after game, it’s tough
if you sit & try to connect the dots. Ajinkya is a rare breed of
batsmen to find these days who reflects the astute & perspicuocs
nature of the game. T20 is not just for mavericks & Ajinkya has proved
it in past. But he isn’t nearly perfect. Some say he stalls things
down & doesn’t shift enough gears which affect the team. There are a
number of innings in the purists’ version of the game. His 96 vs South
Africa in 2nd innings of 2nd test match was a classic knock. He
couldn’t have played it any better. He stood firm most of the times &
South African fast bowlers failed to dismantle his temperament. That
cut for six, which took Rahane from 90 to 96, is still a vivid memory
in my head. He reminds of a babychild produced by VVS & Rahul to some
people, Sachin to others which include the ex Aussies captain Steve
Waugh, it’s a huge responsibility and we must restrain ourselves. The
funny thing here is that all three stalwarts weren’t suited to the T20
version. It’s always fun to tag the players but it catches up on them
more often that. Ajinkya’s unflamboyant nature is a major reason why
he gets compared to those greats. When the whole team crumbled down to
the Jimmy show at Lords, his much needed century just came at the
right time & it surely couldn’t have come at a better place. Sometimes
it was the in-swing which troubled the Indian baWhen he perished, he
got the applause from both set of fans.

His six 4s to S Aravind in an over made people conspicuous. It changed
the stereotype that one doesn’t always need to slog in order to hit
boundaries. The cover drive on the fifth ball was elegent and a treat to
watch. His much-needed stability is exactly what Indian cricket team
wants. You need to produce staggering figures day in day out if you
wish to stay in the team if you don’t, the doors are always open. The
team’s batting has been the weakest link this tournament & it’s a
surprising sight for everyone. Rahane’s fielding is top notch &
there’s no one better than him in the Indian squad at the moment
according to me. His 8 catches record against SL does justice to
showcase his reliability when he’s out there.

When Rahane was the 12th men against West Indies in a match where not
just fans but even cricketers were chanting ‘Sachin Sachin’ as it was
the legend’s last match, Tendulkar’s exact words to Rahane were “You
may not have noticed, but I have been watching you for a long time.
Your attitude, when you are sitting on the bench or serving drinks,
has been praiseworthy. Keep up your work ethic and hard work. These
have brought you till here; they will take you further ahead,” His
temperament is unfathomable & there is a charismatic bomb inside him
which is tangible really. After two decades of seeing Dravid & Laxman
bail the whole team out, Indian cricket team needed a saviour & they
found one. The equation for tomorrow is simple – India needs to win if
they want to go through. It’s time that Dhoni tinkers with the team
and brings in Ajinkya. A game of such massive magnitude, the captain
needs to play a masterstroke & this might very well prove to be the
one.

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