Despite being out of favour in the Indian cricket team, Ajinkya Rahane never gives up. Recently, he surprised the cricketing world by scoring the fastest fifty of IPL 2023 at the Wankhede Stadium. Now, his desire is to play a Test match at his home ground.
On CSK debut, Rahane smashed seven fours and three sixes in his 61 from just 27 balls and the fastest fifty of the season came off just 19 balls. Chasing 158 against Mumbai Indians, CSK finished at 159/3 in 18.1 overs.
“I always enjoy playing at Wankhede. I have never played a Test here. I would want to play a Test here,” said Rahane, who led India to a famous Test series win in Australia in 2021.
Rahane was not supposed to start the game but an injury to Moeen Ali gave him an opportunity.
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There is still a long way to go. Today, I was not sure about my place in the eleven. I got to know just before the toss, for me it is about playing one game at a time and staying in the moment, Rahane told the media on Saturday night.
Anything can happen. Today, I was not sure about my game. For me, I will never give up. It is about playing with enjoyment and passion.
“Whatever format I play, it is about giving my best every time, rather than thinking about the future, (things) which is not in my hand, not in my control, for me it’s all about giving my best every time and be as positive as possible and whenever I get an opportunity I should be ready for that, Rahane said.
Rahane was dropped from the Test team following the tour of South Africa in January 2022. While Cheteshwar Pujara was able to make a comeback, Rahane couldn’t.
The 34-year-old said the knowledge of his homeground helped him play the way he did.
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I just got to know before the toss that I am playing. Unfortunately, Moeen was unwell. I know this wicket really well, have got an idea how the wicket was playing or how the ball was behaving, that helped me, Rahane.
When I went in, it was about playing my normal game. The intent was really good. My preparation was really good, we had a really good camp before coming here, had a good domestic season, batting wise I was feeling really good. I am happy that I did really well and we won the game, he added.
As he often does, Rahane played pure cricketing shots to regal the crowd.
Mumbai Indians head coach Mark Boucher said it was Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner’s spin bowling that hurt his side more than Rahane’s knock.
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It is difficult to look at our bowlers and their batters when we have not got enough runs on the board. In a game of T20 cricket especially now that you have got impact players.
“We had seven frontline batters today for us to get but 157/8 was not good enough. With that start (61/1 in six overs) we probably should have got 180-190 and then we could have judged our bowling, Boucher said.
Rahane played some good cricketing shots. But I think it is more about the bowling that did us at the end of the day. The bowling hurt us more than Rahane’s batting, he added.
(With agency inputs)