Indian cricketer Ajinkya Rahane’s dismal form has been a major concern for Team India for last one year. It’s been more than two years since Rahane put a three-digit mark on the scoreboard. He scored his last century in International cricket in August 2017 against Sri Lanka. But, he failed to convert his initial gains to a good score. If you observe his last 15 innings (18, 34, 1, 51, 30, 13, 70, 80, 41, 0, 37, 11, 51, 29, 81), he could score only five half-centuries with 81 being his highest score.
Rahane came under fire for his aspirations to perform in all three formats of cricket. Most of the people did not want him to see as a T20 or ODI player and urged him to focus on test cricket rather than shorter formats of the game.
Perhaps, Rahane also began to believe in his core strength-test matches, which demand lot of patience and determination. Kudos for BCCI for giving him another opportunity by retaining Rahane in the test squad for the West Indies tour. Meanwhile, Rahane improved his morale by scoring a half-century in a practice match in Windies.
With Rohit Sharma eagerly waiting for a chance in the test squad, it was indeed a tough decision by captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri to pick Rahane and KL Rahul in the final eleven. Rahane didn’t let this opportunity go in vain as he announced his comeback in style with a century in second innings and a crucial 81 in the first innings of the 1st test. He kept his form once he got good starts and went on to build two 100-run partnerships with Kohli and Hanuma Vihari. His patience and composure were spectacular, particularly in second innings. He didn’t tremble in any of the tricky situations created by Windies bowlers. He was very clear about what he was going to achieve and did not let anything to dissuade him from his goal. He steered India to victory with an impressive 183 runs and walked away with the Man of the Match prize.
With this superb performance, Rahane put an end to the debate on his aspirations to become a multi-format player. Will he retain his current form and secure a spot in the upcoming T20 and ODI series as well? Or will he limit himself to the test format and help Team India to clinch the first ever Test Championship? By the way, he will be featured in record books for his century as it is the first one in World Test Championship.