Off The Field

WTC final: Ajinkya Rahane wants to carry IPL momentum in title clash against Australia

Written by Vipin Darwade

Ajinkya Rahane is focused on emulating his IPL exploits in the World Test Championship final against Australia after making a comeback to the Indian Test side after over a year. Describing the comeback as an emotional moment for him and his family, Rahane said that he was extremely happy to be back with the Indian side.

Rahane will return to India’s 15-man Test squad for the final against Australia at The Oval after a strong domestic season and an impressive performance in the just concluded IPL 2023. Rahane scored 326 runs in IPL 2023 for Chennai Super Kings, striking at an impressive 172.49.

In the process, he also set a new record for the fastest fifty by a Chennai Super Kings player, scoring it in 19 balls against the Mumbai Indians. Beyond his T20 success, Rahane’s experience and present form are expected to push him into the playing XI with Shreyas Iyer out due to injury and Suryakumar Yadav’s lack of international Tests.

“Really happy to be back with the Indian team after 18-19 months. This is something really special for me. I just want to keep continuing my batting form, don’t want to think too much about the format, T20 or Test cricket. The way I am batting right now, I don’t want to complicate things, the more I keep it simple, it will be better. It was an emotional moment for me. When I got dropped, the support from my family was massive, really important,” Ajinkya Rahane said in a video posted by BCCI.

Rahane, who last played a Test in January 2022, also scored a match-winning 71 not out of 29 balls against the Kolkata Knight Riders only days before the BCCI announced the selection.

Speaking about his time away, Rahane stated that he continued to slog in the Ranji Trophy, where he finished the season with 634 runs in 11 innings, two hundreds, and an average of 57.63, but what kept him going was his desire to return to the Indian team.

“Playing for India matters a lot for me. I worked hard on my fitness, my batting, my game plan, went back to domestic cricket, had a very good domestic season for Mumbai. When I got the call, that moment was really emotional for me and my family as well,”

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Vipin Darwade