HomeCricketAjinkya Rahane can still re-discover the best within

Ajinkya Rahane can still re-discover the best within

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What had gone wrong with Ajinkya Rahane?
If you happen to have seen Rahane bat at Nottingham you would’ve seen that he managed to score a fifty. Two previous Tests went drier than the patch ill-fated farmers endure during a tough outing with rains, rather the lack of it.
Then finally, that bat, that had hitherto gone soundless a bit like the mild-mannered man who wields it, was raised to acknowledge the crowd, amongst whom there were many who were on their feet. Somehow, India’s vice-captain managed to strike 81 runs.
Most importantly, he had, at least, to his own hard-working and brutally honest self, proven a fact. He could hang out with the English bowlers longer than he had previously been managing.
Before Rahane arrived at Nottingham, he lasted no more than 127 deliveries from 4 Test innings. Rather, for a batsman of his repute and consistency, doubters well-advised to refer to his fourth inning average of 48 and that incredible tally of over 2000 away runs, this was a failure.

Trent Bridge brought out a different Ajinkya Rahane

But finally, the First innings at Trent Bridge yielded a fighting effort and a first for him on this tour.
Arriving at Nottingham, the runs were drying, the intent didn’t seem to be there and importantly from the English perspective, their bowlers were able to send Rahane back quicker than he’d arrived in the middle.
While what might impress Rahane’s admirers, for many of whom he’s still the next Dravid, would be that for his 81 runs, he was able to withstand the pressure of a faultless Stuart Broad and a doubtless Jimmy Anderson and company for 171 minutes.
During this stay on the 22 yards, the very residence staying at which Rahane has often emerged as this tenant who overstays his welcome, often batting for long periods of time, much to the chagrin of bowlers, he’s also ticked a major ‘right’ box.
He’d faced 131 deliveries. In front of his 127 from 4 innings, that meant only sticking around for 20-odd overs but no more, it was a marked improvement.

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Finally, a fifty

Thankfully, we also got to see him handle the lateral movement off the pitch well. The strong backfoot punches through the covers, the glowing drives where he’d lean on to adjust his light bodyweight well, there was nothing wrong about Rahane other than finding himself an edge or two that landed over gully and toward the third-man region.
Still, beyond hanging on for an eighty-something knock, he was a goner. But surely by then, he’d done his job.
But that told, what Ajinkya Rahane still ought to do is to complete that one main job that still awaits his completion, rather, recurring involvement.
And that job is to play that quintessential brick-by-brick, patient knock he’s known for. Referring to a popular culture number, there’s a “Jimmy who’s got a gun.”
And he can shoot batsmen at will with his dogged consistency. Yet, at the same time, even Ajinkya Rahane has got a gun.
Rather, it’s a sharp-shooter of sorts and its main quality is to dispose of fast-bowlers and obliterate seaming deliveries, subduing them as if he were a gauntlet of concentration. That gun is the cricket bat.

His task is still incomplete on this tour

The only thing is, it’s not been happening.
The ability to expunge bowlers hurling spitfires with remarkable silence is a trait, after all, that’s earned Ajinkya Rahane plaudits from Rahul Dravid himself.
And it’s that dependability factor about his batting that’s earned him love from an entire cricketing fraternity. Sadly, it’s hardly been on display.
What this essentially does is that in the absence of any reassuring touch from the likes of Dhawan and Rahul (both of whom, who have only just managed some runs, if not fifties), it leaves Kohli to do the bulk of the team’s scoring.
Whether Pujara will last long enough to answer through that bat, something he pretty much seems to have forgotten the utility of nowadays, it’s imperative for Rahane to score. He got to. He ought to. He must.
Good batsmen, when in form, seem to be using their feet well and prefer to play on the front foot.
When they are out of touch, they go back on the crease. An awkward Lara-like shuffle may lead to the downfall for not everyone possesses the power to play the ball as late as Brian or offer multiple shots of the kinds Tendulkar had on nearly every single delivery.

What lies ahead?

But at Trent Bridge, while one got to see the best of Rahane, if not his optimal best, there was a keenness to contribute. After all, that’s something holding which he forayed into the side.
After all, that is what will keep him in good stead. With four more Test innings to go and the prospect of 2 Tests, the prospect of seeing Rahane stick around and get on to a start, to convert it into a handy score offers mouthwatering excitement.
In the end, it rests on him to make conjecture realise itself.
For starters, he’d want to derive confidence from the very fact that when none got going, he managed to come up with an ace at Lord’s last year.
Of course, what would displease him and should is that of the opponents he’s batted against, his average of 26 against England is the lowest he’s managed against a dominant or mainstream side.

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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