Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane is a proven star in Test matches and collected a lot of praises from his teammates and skipper for playing some exceptional innings in the longest format of the game. But then again, we’ve seen him just a few times in the blue jersey, as to our surprise he has only 3 centuries in ODIs. It’s difficult to find that why Rahane has been unable to fix his spot in the limited-overs cricket.
However, Rahane’s temperament makes him a stand-out player. He likes to play the game in the most conventional and effective manner possible by trusting on his sound technique. He also has the ability to pick out gaps as well as to change gears when the secondary bowlers come out to bowl. All these are the sign of a prolific batsman and we can say that Rahane is on the verge of becoming good to great, at least in shorter formats of cricket.
Rahane has the inability to convert his innings
Rahane is a definite pick in Test team; even he is the deputy skipper in Tests. He is a good ODI and T20 player too. It is his incompetence to become a great player that obstructs him from making an impact.
Looking at the current Indian setup, at least from a batting perspective and Yuvraj Singh’s place is under scanner. Despite the fact that have lost his power due to age, but his wicket-keeping skills are more than enough to keep him in the squad. Jinx has always been considered as a batsman in ODI team, who can bat at any position, primarily in the top order. His century against the West Indies has helped him to prove his worth, as during those innings he played attacking cricket when the field was up and when the bowlers bowled poor lengths.
Primary to his dilemma is his inability to choose one spot in the team to cement his spot. As an opener, he averages 42.93 in ODIs and between 33 to 35 in the other positions – therein, lies the actual problem. Rahane has played around 70 innings but still hasn’t been able to get those numbers up.
Too many competitions for the place
There is so much competition for Rahane’s place in the Indian squad. KL Rahul is the other opener looking to slot in whenever Dhawan and Rohit aren’t available and he’s very good. At 25, he has age on his side too and can only get better. Because of this Rahane has only left with an option of playing at number 4 and at that position Yuvraj still hold enough to be the first-choice player. Number 6 is too deep into the order for Rahane’s class and he’s not someone who can slog from the first ball – as is required from someone in that part of the batting order.
Thus, it seems that Rahane will continue to struggle with his batting position for the ODI and T20 team and due to more reasons than one. It is a problem that cancels itself out – it is a problem of plenty and hence it’s good for Indian cricket and bad for the Mumbai lad.