Explained: Why Ajinkya Rahane Was Recalled To India’s Squad For World Test Championship Final

The return of veteran batter Ajinkya Rahane to India’s squad for the World Test Championship final left many surprises considering it was about 15 months ago when he had last featured for the national team in the whites. Talks of Rahane already playing his ‘farewell game’, against South Africa in Newlands were intense a year ago. But now, the man who once led India to a famous Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 triumph is back in the national colours. But, what led to Rahane’s return to the Test fold?

Since the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squad for the WTC final against Australia, chatter over Rahane’s return on the back of a few prolific performances for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has gained traction. But, it isn’t just his form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) that helped him earn a recall.

Domestic Numbers:

When it comes to Test team selection, Ranji Trophy remains the biggest platform for players to impress. Rahane did just that.

In the last Ranji campaign for Mumbai, the 34-year-old scored 634 runs in 11 innings at a brilliant average of 57.63. In those 11 innings, he struck two hundreds including a giant knock of 204 runs. His average in the campaign was even higher than his career First Class average of 47.12.

Overseas Experience:

Rahane might not have played for India in 15 months but he still remains one of the most experienced batters the team has in Test cricket. His performances in overseas conditions need no introduction. Having delivered with the bat on some of the trickiest pitches around the world, Rahane is an asset to the team, especially considering the WTC final against Australia will be held at the Oval in London.

Injuries And Form Issues In Team:

If Shreyas Iyer Had fully fit and available, Rahane might not have had as big a chance. With Iyer set to remain on the sidelines for a few more months, Rahane seems to have emerged as the selectors’ best bet for the middle-order role.

Suryakumar Yadav was tried by the team in the Tests against Australia but he could not replicate his T20 cricket form in whites. KL Rahul is another player who has struggled for form. In such a case, Rahane was arguably the safest option for the team management.

Current Form:

Rahane is the third highest-scorer in the ongoing IPL 2023 season with 209 runs to his name so far. Even his average is 52.25 which is quite rare in T20 competitions. But, what’s been most impressive about the veteran batsman is the fact that these runs from his bat haven’t come by slogging, but by proper cricketing shots.

Rahane has shown exemplary form while playing for CSK in the IPL this season. His confidence and control on the 22-yard strip are exactly the traits that the Indian team needs against Australia in the Test Championship final.

Topics mentioned in this article

Leave a Comment