After having a fruitful One day series against Australia, Ajinkya Rahane would have expected himself to make the cut for the T20 series against Australia, but when BCCI released the team last night, Rahane was one of the most notable absentees.
Shikhar Dhawan opting out of the One day series due to personal reasons meant that Rahane got an extended run as India’s opener, and he pounced on the opportunity scoring 244 runs in the series.
But the selectors did not deem him fit enough for the T20 format, owing to his inability of taking on the bowlers on a consistent basis.
While Rahane would be distraught following this decision, he seemed upbeat and wanted to ‘respect’ the selector’s decision and focus on how he could probably carve his way into the T20 side.
“Yes, so much cricket we play, the team management, selectors take a decision and we respect it. Speaking about competition, it is necessary and it helps you to give your best performance. Whoever gets a chance does well for the team. I have always enjoyed the competition (among players),” Rahane told PTI.
Rahane then went onto comment on his rich vein of form and how he was happy about contributing to the team’s success, especially against such a formidable opponent.
“Yes, I am happy. The responsibility and the opportunity I was given, the way I was supposed to bat, I did. Definitely, I am happy with the form I have carried from the West Indies tour, I have made four consecutive fifties,”
“I could have converted the fifties into hundreds. It was in my mind to contribute, I shared three 100-run stands with Rohit (Sharma) and our aim was to give a good start to the team,” Rahane said.
Rahane seemed extremely content with how things were shaping up for the 2019 World Cup and said that every player in the team was preparing with that goal in mind.
“It is a proud moment for all of us. Our aim is 2019 World Cup and we are going in that direction. For that we have to play series by series and match by match, the aim of this team is to win every match and series, and we always try to improve.”
“All have performed. In the middle-order Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav, whenever they got opportunity, they have performed. Rohit and Virat (Kohli) have always performed well. Kuldeep (Yadav) and (Yuzvednra) Chahal got a chance and they did well. Our bench strength is good.”
“The fact that all of us get a chance and perform is a good sign. If you have to win the 2019 World Cup, then you have to test your bench strength,” Rahane concluded.
Shikhar Dhawan who has returned to the squad should partner Rohit at the top of the order for the T20 series.