Indian batsman, Ajinkya Rahane, was dropped from the Indian cricket team in the limited overs format right after South Africa series in 2018, despite his decent performance in the middle order. Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra feels that dropping out Rahane was a rough deal.
Ajinkya Rahane managed to score 2962 runs from 90 matches at an average of 35.26 of which 843 have come from batting at No. 4 in 27 matches with an average of 36.65. His numbers as ODI opener are even better with 1937 runs from 54 matches including three massive hundreds.
Yet, Rahane was dropped out of the ODIs and it has been two years that he is still out of the ODI and T20 squad. To which, Chopra feels it was not a fair decision, especially when it was taken on the basis of a few inconsistent performances and that he should have been given more chances to prove himself.
“His numbers at No. 4 were good. And at number 4, if you are giving good performances, consistently playing well and strike rate is also around 94, then why are you not giving him more chances? He was dropped all of a sudden, just like you remove a fly from milk. Why was something like that done? I feel he was hard done by,” Chopra said while answering viewers’ questions on his YouTube channel.
“If India had become like England, that they will score 350 in every match, that is the only way they will play, whether it goes their way of not. We didn’t do like that. We still play cricket in the traditional orthodox way. We still build the innings and pick a team that can score around 325, so Ajinkya Rahane would have fitted in that.”
Rahane turned out to be a makeshift opener for India in 2014, replacing Rohit Sharma while the latter was recovering from injuries. He scored a couple of crucial fifties in the Asia Cup that year and a terrific century against England in Edgbaston.
In 2017, Rahane scored consecutive four-half centuries against Australia following by an effortless 79 against South Africa in the first ODI of a six-match series. Even after a magnificent performance, he was shown the door only three low scores later. Even when India were in a dire need of a number four batsman ahead of the World Cup, Rahane was still ignored.
“In my opinion it was slightly unfair to him because when he was dropped from the ODI team he was absolutely fine. So when you are not playing someone after he has done well, you are not doing the right thing. In fact, when he played in South Africa, there also he did well. I remember that, it was in 2018. He should get an opportunity again,” Chopra added.
The middle-order right-handed batsman was last seen in action against New Zealand in a Test series held in February 2020. Indian cricket is on standby right now due to Covid-19 pandemic outburst.
Do you think this was a fair decision taken for Ajinkya Rahane by the Indian team and the management? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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