Ravi Shastri

Shastri supports Rahane’s selection in WTC final squad

The selectors’ decision to include Ajinkya Rahane in the Indian squad for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia at The Oval has been met with approval from former India coach Ravi Shastri. Shastri emphasized Rahane’s experience and his impressive performances in domestic cricket as key factors in his selection. Despite facing scrutiny over his form following the Australia tour heroics, Rahane’s recent contributions in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and his desire to excel in first-class cricket played a crucial role in securing his spot. This article analyzes Rahane’s journey, the significance of his inclusion, and the impact of his recent form on the team’s prospects.


During the 2022-23 Ranji Trophy, Ajinkya Rahane captained Mumbai and narrowly missed out on qualifying for the knockouts. However, his individual performance was exceptional, amassing 634 runs in 11 innings at an impressive average of 57.64, including two centuries. This strong showing in first-class cricket demonstrated Rahane’s determination to excel and solidified his case for selection. Shastri highlighted the importance of acknowledging Rahane’s performances in the domestic circuit, emphasizing that those who solely focused on his IPL outings missed the impact he made in the longer format.


In the IPL, Rahane showcased his prowess with a memorable 29-ball 71 for the Chennai Super Kings, earning him the Player-of-the-Match award. His powerplay batting and ability to clear the ropes have drawn appreciation from observers. Shastri expressed his satisfaction with Rahane’s performances in the IPL, highlighting his form and touch. However, he emphasized that Rahane’s inclusion was not solely based on a few IPL outings but was primarily driven by his consistent run-scoring in first-class cricket.


Rahane’s inclusion in the squad for the WTC final emphasizes the value of experience in high-stakes encounters. Shastri highlighted Rahane’s leadership and pivotal role in India’s Test series victory in Australia just two-and-a-half years ago. As the stand-in captain in the absence of Virat Kohli, Rahane played a key role in India’s triumph. Shastri underlined the significance of Rahane’s century at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) during that series, which helped India level the series after a demoralizing defeat in Adelaide. Rahane’s experience, composure under pressure, and ability to perform in crucial situations make him an invaluable asset for the team.


After his heroics in Australia, Rahane faced a period of lien form, leading to questions about his spot in the team. A wrist injury limited his participation in the IPL, but upon his return, Rahane focused on playing with freedom and without the burden of making a comeback. Shastri drew a parallel between Rahane’s resurgence and Cheteshwar Pujara’s. Pujara, too, found himself out of the team following the South Africa tour but regained form through prolific performances in county cricket. Shastri believes that Rahane’s return to domestic cricket and his subsequent success will serve as a confidence booster for the upcoming challenge.


The impact of Rahane’s recent form cannot be understated. His impressive IPL innings, where he displayed ease, good timing, and confidence in his stroke-making, played a significant role in his selection. The selectors, as well as Shastri, acknowledged Rahane’s recent contributions, both in the IPL and domestic cricket, and considered them while finalizing the squad.


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