Ajinkya Rahane - The Numbers that Matter
Ajinkya Rahane has slammed 209 runs in IPL 2023 [AP Photo]
Out of favour, former India Test captain Ajinkya Rahane earned his call-up to the Test setup for their upcoming ICC World Test Championship final against Australia, following an explosive Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 for Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Once a cornerstone of India's Test side, Rahane was dropped in 2022 after a poor string of outings, however, the middle-order batter turned time back and scored oodles of runs (634) in the Ranji Trophy 2022-23 for Mumbai.
Purchased for INR 50 lakh, the textbook-style Rahane has already struck 209 runs in five innings at an astounding strike rate of 199.04, displaying his innovative shots across every match.
Ahead of the WTC Final against Australia in June, let's have a look at the numbers that matter for Rahane.
In 82 Tests for India, Rahane has amassed 4,931 runs with 12 centuries and 25 fifties. In the WTC 2021-23 cycle, Rahane has scored just 460 runs in 13 matches, at an average of 20.
In England, Rahane has accumulated 729 runs in 15 Tests at an average of 43.03 with one ton and five half-centuries. The CSK batter's track record at The Oval is not good, with just 55 runs in three Tests between 2014 and 2021.
One of Rahane's best Test knocks came against England at Lord's during India's 2014 tour, where the batter struck 103 runs in the visitor's 95-run victory.
The Mumbai-born will be up against his favourite Test side Australia, when India meets them at London on June 7. Rahane has scored 1,090 runs against Australia, with two centuries and five fifties in 17 Tests.
Two of his best knocks in recent times have come versus Australia; 112 and 147 at MCG in 2020-21 and 2014-15, respectively.
Rahane's recent troubles have been around his ability to play short-ball, which is a glaring weakness in his armor off-late.
It will be interesting to see how Rahane tackles the likes of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc in bowling-friendly conditions, coming in straight from flat tracks in the IPL.