Mumbai and Rajasthan Royals batsman in the IPL Ajinkya Rahane is making rapid strides in a career that is just 22-Tests old, and his six centuries in five different parts of the world indicate he is meant to achieve great heights. Rahane etched his name into cricket’s record books during the final Test against South Africa in Delhi, where his century in each innings (127 and 100*) made him only the fifth Indian batsmen to achieve the feat. A list that includes big names like Vijay Hazare, legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar, his idol and batting legend Rahul Dravid and current Test skipper Virat Kohli.
Incidentally , his impressive 266 runs are the most among the Indian batsmen in the four-Test series that the hosts won 3-0, and his skipper Virat Kohli is mighty pleased and impressed with the effort in difficult conditions. “What I like about him is that his intent is really good, backed by solid technique, which is a rare balance. To find that balance early in the career is a commendable effort,” Kohli, who had a crucial fifth-wicket stand with Rahane in Delhi, said.
“He has played some very important knocks for us in the last couple of years. Because of that, he is probably one of the most important people in our middle order. He is just growing in stature and confidence. I enjoyed batting more with him than me getting to 80 plus score, because partnerships are something we aim for. We hadn’t got a 100-run stand, we wanted to string in a good one. We communicated well,” Kohli said about his partnership with Rahane at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
“It was 57 for 4 and if you lose another wicket, then target [for South Africa] would have been around 300-315, which is a tricky total with two days to go. We had a discussion that although we are up in the series, we still need to enjoy and learn from this situation for future games. I told him [Rahane] that ‘if I and you bat through this situation and build a big partnership, that will give us confidence in doing that in crunch games as well’,” the skipper revealed.
Rahane’s six Test hundreds have come in New Zealand, England, Australia, Sri Lanka and India (2) – apart from 7 fifties. He has scored 1619 runs in 22 Tests at a healthy average of 44.97. He has also played 63 ODIs and 12 T20Is.