As the Wanderers Test begins, focus will once again be on Ajinkya Rahane. Should he or should he not? Will India back him or should they go with Shreyas Iyer?
From what we have seen in Centurion, I have no doubt Ajinkya should and will get another opportunity. He looked good in both innings and despite not converting, made important runs for India.
More than the runs scored, the manner in which they were scored stood out for me. Calm and composed, Rahane was out there to make a statement. He was out there to prove his class. To show once and for all the value of experience. That’s what he did, making a tangible contribution to the Indian cause at Centurion in the process.
“It is one of the toughest things to do” – Ajinkya Rahane on winning overseas
Ajinkya is all about effort. He may not be as talented as some of his compatriots but he makes up for all of his deficiencies with hard work.
As he had said to me a few days back:
“We worked very hard as a team and the effort that each of the players and the support unit put in is showing. I know how hard it is to win overseas. It is one of the toughest things to do in world cricket.”
Even when he wasn’t scoring, Ajinkya had not lost confidence.
“I have to tell you I am feeling very good about my batting and that I have always prepared to my best. I did whatever I could to stay fit and practiced as hard as was possible. Having said that I have to tell you this team is not about individual performances. It is about each of us backing the other person and all playing as a team.”
It feels good to see Rahane back among the runs. It is not known whether he will be able to score big in this series and silence his critics. It is also not known if this series is his last. What is known, however, is with Ajinkya there will never be a lack of effort.
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He will be up for the daily grind irrespective of the results, for Ajinkya is all about process. And preparation. And hard work. And as the saying goes- good things happen to good people. And when it does happen you keep asking the question- was this man in off form? Did the runs ever dry up? Oh really!