WTC Final: Rahane to make comeback; CSK coaches, Gavaskar back player

Rahane, who led India in their famous campaign in the 20-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy will again play an integral part in World Test Championship Final starting from June 6.

After being excluded from all iterations of the Indian team and ignored by the franchises; Ajinkya Rahane had no idea where his career was going.

The former captain of Team India was excluded from the Indian team in all formats and snubbed and ostracised by the franchises.

However, MS Dhoni, who served as Rahane’s captain for the Indian side, held the same conviction, just as the Mumbai man did that his veteran warhorse still had plenty more to offer. Both men were on the same page and believed that Jinks still have what it takes to make a difference in the shortest and most talked about format of the game, the Indian Premier League.

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Under MS Dhoni in the Chennai Super Kings, Rahane was shown faith in, which he lived up to.

Intriguingly, senior players who were passed over by other teams have previously experienced success at CSK. After being ignored, neglected and overlooked by the majority of franchises, individuals with proven track records like Ashish Nehra, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Shivam Dube, Brendon McCullum, Moeen Ali and Harbhajan Singh found new life in Chennai.

The right-hander made a stunning comeback at the highest level, helping Chennai Super Kings win matches with his score of 326 runs in 14 games. Rahane’s incredible strike rate of 172.49 was what grabbed everyone’s attention. This Rahane is unknown. This Rahane is new. Reinvented, rejuvenated. In fact, it is because of the stellar performances that forced the selectors to name him in the WTC squad.

“He’s got a lot of experience having played in England, having scored runs in England. So, yes, I think he is going to be crucial down at number 5. And yes, I do believe he has a point to prove, I still feel he has got plenty of cricket left in him, and this is a wonderful opportunity for him,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports show Follow the Blues.

“I’m hoping he will be able to grab this opportunity with all the experience that he has and make a place for him back in the Indian team,” he added.

Rahane, who led India in their famous campaign in the 20-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy will again play an integral part in World Test Championship Final starting from June 6. Team India will be hoping for another splendid knock from him while Jinks will look to cement his spot in the Indian team. A fairytale comeback is on the cards while Ajinkya is all set for a big knock against his favourite opponents

Rahane, CSK and IPL

CSK head coach Stephen Fleming was falling short of words to appreciate the efforts of senior India batter Ajinkya Rahane, who turned out to be one of the major success stories for CSK with an amazing season where he showcased brilliant strokeplay. What changed was Rahane’s philosophy of not trying to be an anchor inning.

“My understanding is that we got rid of the tag of being the guy you bat around or bat through. I think that maybe hung over his head a little bit too much and didn’t allow him to be the player that he can be. And once that tag was gone, when I turned up halfway through the preseason training, I saw a guy who was in magnificent form,” Fleming said.

Fleming said that Rahane didn’t feature in their initial plan.”He wasn’t in our initial thoughts, but the game in Mumbai was really defining. It was one of our best wins in the tournament and he was the big catalyst behind it, so he cemented that No. 3 spot “.

“He has been unwavering the whole way through he’s been nothing but positive, his nets have been positive. Anytime he’s been caught on the boundary or outplaying a big shot, we’ve just reinforced how good he’s playing. So a little bit of belief and just sheer ability – he’s been a wonderful player for us this year,” he added.

Post the win against GT in the finals of the IPL 2023, Rahane expressed his gratitude to the management of the team and Mahi Bhai.

“Credit goes to CSK management and Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni). They said they would back me completely if I got an opportunity, and told me what my role was before the season. They did not interfere at all, and the freedom that CSK gives is massive,” the 34-year-old stated in an interview with the broadcaster following a five-wicket victory over the Gujarat Titans using the DLS method.

The typically uncontroversial and unobjectionable player also obliquely disparaged and made a veiled jab at his old team, Kolkata Knight Riders after his astonishing knock of 71 off 29 balls against KKR at Eden Gardens.

“If you see, I was not getting opportunities to play one-two years ago. And, if you don’t play matches, how would you show what shots you have in your armoury? You can’t show them your stroke-making if you are not playing consistently,” he said.

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