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Ajinkya Rahane

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Personal information

Full name Ajinkya Madhukar Rahane
Born 6 June 1988
Ashwi KD, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India
Batting Right-handed
Bowling Right-arm off spin
Role Batsman

International information

National side India (2011–present)
Test debut (Cap 278) 22 March 2013 v Australia
Last Test 25 November 2021 v New Zealand
ODI debut (Cap 191) 3 September 2011 v England
Last ODI 16 February 2018 v South Africa
ODI shirt no. 27
T20I debut (Cap 39) 31 August 2011 v England
Last T20I 28 August 2016 v West Indies
T20I shirt no. 27

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Ajinkya Madhukar Rahane (born 6 June 1988) is an Indian international cricketer. He played primarily as a middle-order batsman in the Test format and as a top-order batsman in white-ball forms of the game. He was also the vice-captain of the India national cricket team in Tests until the home series against New Zealand in 2021 after which he was sacked. He represents Mumbai in domestic cricket and Delhi Capitals in IPL.

Rahane made his first-class debut in 2007–08 Ranji Trophy season for Mumbai. He made his international debut in T20Is against England at Manchester in August 2011. Rahane made his Test debut in the March 2013 Border–Gavaskar Trophy. His first Test century came at Basin Reserve, Wellington against New Zealand. Under his captaincy, India won the 2020-21 Border–Gavaskar Trophy in Australia. As of May 2021 Rahane ranks 15th in the ICC Test batting rankings, with a tally of 688 points.


Early and personal life

Rahane was born on 6 June 1988 in Ashwi KD, Sangamner Taluka, Ahmednagar district to Madhukar Baburao Rahane and Sujata Rahane in a Hindu Maratha Family. He has a younger brother and sister, Shashank and Apurva Rahane. At the age of seven, Madhukar Rahane took Rahane to a small coaching camp with a matting wicket in Dombivli, as they could not afford proper coaching. From the age of 17, he took coaching from former India batsman Pravin Amre. Rahane cleared his Secondary School Certificate from SV Joshi High School, Dombivli.

Rahane married Radhika Dhopavkar, his childhood friend, on 26 September 2014. The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Aarya, in October 2019.


Domestic career

Rahane had performed well when India U-19 toured New Zealand in early 2007, with two centuries. He was picked for the Mohammad Nissar Trophy in Pakistan.

  • First-class career

Rahane made his first-class debut, at the age of 19, for Mumbai against Karachi Urban in the Mohammad Nissar Trophy in September 2007, at Karachi, when most of the first-choice Mumbai players were unavailable for various reasons. Opening the innings with Sahil Kukreja, he scored a century on debut 143 (207), with Kukreja scoring 110 for a total of 247. Rahane was subsequently picked for the Irani Trophy match against Rest of India.

Rahane scored 172 against England Lions for West Zone in the 2007–08 Duleep Trophy.

Rahane, with 1089 runs in his second Ranji season (2008–09), was a crucial factor in Mumbai’s 38th title win. His score of 265 not-out (batting at no. 3 for Mumbai) came against Hyderabad at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal in the 2009–10 season and also tournament. Rahane surpassed 1000 runs in three separate seasons, and scoring 152 in the 2011 Irani Trophy match against Rajasthan helped him get selected for India’s Test squad.

In April 2019, Rahane joined Hampshire as their overseas player for two months of the season.

  • List A career

Rahane made his List A debut for Mumbai against Delhi for the Vijay Hazare Trophy in March 2007. He contributed 61 runs to a 171-run partnership with former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer. Two centuries back to back in the Emerging Players Tournament in Australia brought him a place in the India ODI (One Day International) squad for the tour of England in 2011.

Rahane progressed through the Mumbai ranks and had also been a part of the Indian U-19 team and the India A. Rahane had also turned out for India Blue and India Green in the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy.

In September 2018, Rahane was named as the captain of Mumbai for the 2018–19 Vijay Hazare Trophy tournament. In October 2018, he was named as the captain of India C’s squad for the 2018–19 Deodhar Trophy. He led the team to the final and played a crucial knock of 144* in the final to win the title.


International career

  • Test career

Rahane was selected in the Test squad to play against West Indies in November 2011. Rahane was taken in the squad for 16 months and in his presence, he saw seven players make their debuts. His performance in the limited-overs cricket (ODI and T20I) during that period was not up to the mark, as he averaged around 25 in both ODI and T20I cricket, and struggled for form in the series against Pakistan and England (in January 2013).

Rahane made his Test debut on 22 March 2013 against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi. According to the media, Rahane got this chance through “sheer luck”. Shikhar Dhawan, who made a dazzling start to his career in the third Test at Mohali, scoring 187 on debut, was the obvious choice for the Delhi Test until he suffered an injury to the knuckles of his left hand. Gautam Gambhir, who was picked as a replacement for Dhawan, was sidelined owing to jaundice. Rahane was handed his India Test cap which brought an end to a lean patch for Mumbai, who had not produced a Test player for India since May 2007. Two single-digit scores in the game prompted many to question Rahane’s ability to handle pressure and replicate his domestic success at international level.

Despite his failure in the debut match, Rahane was included in the playing eleven for the first match of India’s tour of South Africa (2013–14). Batting in the lower-middle order, he made 209 runs at an average of 69.66 in the series (including a 96 off 157 balls at Kingsmead, Durban) against the bowling attack comprising Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander. “For a man who had spent many a tour and series warming up the bench, carrying drinks, wondering when his opportunity will come, he has taken his chance with both hands, even though it arrived in the most difficult of conditions to bat in”, cricket pundit Sidharth Monga wrote. Rahane finished as India’s third-highest run-getter in the series, but he was in the most precarious position of all before the series began.

Rahane made his first Test ton at Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand on 15 February 2014 against New Zealand. India were in a difficult position when Rahane came to the crease at 156 for five and by the time he departed with 118 India were in a match-winning position ruined by Brendon McCullum’s famous triple-century. “He had a mountain of first-class runs backing him, of course, but did he have what goes around by the queer name of X-factor? Did he have that extra edge in his game and personality that separates top-class international players from the rest? Was he merely humble, or was he unable to assert himself, unable to absorb real pressure? After his first two Test tours to South Africa and New Zealand, we can safely conclude it must be the former. Underneath that seemingly soft exterior lurks a solid Test batsman, and he was on display at the Basin Reserve”, ESPN Cricinfo wrote in their analysis.

Rahane played in the Investec Test Series (India tour of England, 2014) in England. His previous overseas performances (in away Tests, Rahane averaged 61.83 having scored 371 in four Tests including a century and two fifties) earned him a place in the playing eleven over Rohit Sharma. He justified his selection by making his second century at the second Test match at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Put in to bat on a green-top wicket by Alastair Cook, India collapsed to 140 for six by tea, only to be rescued by Rahane’s century. He was supported by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who scored a valuable 36, besides putting on 90 runs for the eighth wicket. In the process, Rahane became the fourth Indian batsman to post a Test century on his first appearance at Lord’s, joining Sourav Ganguly, Dilip Vengsarkar and Ajit Agarkar.

Rahane played in the 2014–15 Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia. In the third Test match at Melbourne, Rahane made his third Test hundred. He made 399 runs in four, including a century and three half-centuries against the opposition attack of Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris, the core of a bowling unit that famously won 2013–14 Ashes series 5–0.

In the first Test of 2015 tour of Sri Lanka, Rahane broke the world record for most catches in a Test match with eight. In the second Test at PSS, Colombo, he scored his fourth Test hundred, scoring 126 in India’s second innings, and India went on to win the match. In the process, he reached his career-best ranking of 20th, at the ICC Player Rankings.

Rahane played in the 2015 Freedom Series. In the 4th test match at New Delhi, Rahane made centuries in both the innings on a pitch where most batsmen found it difficult to score, and with this feat, he became only the fifth Indian to join the elite club of twin centurions in a single test.

On 16 August 2016, Rahane achieved his career best test batsmen’s ranking of No. 8.

On 25 March 2017, Rahane became India’s 33rd Test Captain when he led the team in the 4th test against Australia in Dharamsala due to an injury to Virat Kohli. He scored 46 runs in his first innings and quick 37 Runs in 2nd innings as India’s Test captain. He scored a century in Sri Lanka in August 2017. In the return series at home, he failed miserably scoring only 17 in 5 innings. Despite an overseas average of 55, he was not included in the playing 11 for the 1st and 2nd Test against South Africa in 2018. After the failures of Rohit Sharma in both tests, the Indian vice-captain was brought back into the playing eleven for the 3rd test where his innings of 48 in the 2nd innings on a dangerous batting pitch proved very crucial in setting up an Indian victory. He led the Indian Team in the test match against Afghanistan national cricket team in the absence of Virat Kohli in 2018. In the India’s tour of England, Rahane scored two half centuries, a match winning 81 in the third test and 51 in the fourth test. In the following India’s tour of Australia, Rahane scored two half centuries; a match-winning 70 in the Adelaide test and a 51 in the Perth test. Overall, he finished the series with 217 runs.

In 2019 two Match series in West Indies, he scored a century in the First Test to guide India to victory. In the home series against South Africa, he scored a brisk fifty in second Test in Pune sharing a crucial century partnership with skipper Virat Kohli. In the third Test, he scored a match winning 115 with a 267 run partnership with Rohit Sharma who scored his first double century in Tests rescuing the team from 39 for 3.

On 15 November 2019, in the first innings of the first test match against Bangladesh, Rahane hit 86 off 172 deliveries, crossing the boundary 9 times. This became his 21st test fifty in international cricket.

He was selected in the Test eleven for a 2 match series against New Zealand in February 2020, but like the rest of the team, his batting performance was not up to the mark.

In December 2020 he was made captain of the Indian team for the final three matches of India’s tour of Australia in place of Virat Kohli, who was taking paternity leave. In the second test, Rahane scored 112 in the first innings and 27* in the second innings and guided India to a 8 wicket victory and was awarded man of the match. After drawing the third test at Sydney, India went on to win the fourth test in Brisbane and handed Australia their first Test defeat at The Gabba in 32 years with Rahane contributing to the winning cause with a quick fire 24 runs off 22 balls in the second innings and India winning the series 2–1. He finished the series as the third highest run getter with 268 runs at an average of 38.28. He received high praise from the critics and pundits for his captaincy and leading India to one of their greatest Test series win despite losing out on many of the first team players due to injury and bouncing back strongly after the first Test defeat. Rahane has captained India in 5 Tests, remaining unbeaten with 4 wins and a draw.

Rahane was appointed as the captain of the Indian team for the first Test against New Zealand in November 2021, as Kohli had been rested.

  • One-Day International career

Two back to back centuries in the Emerging Players Tournament in Australia (201) helped Rahane secure a place in the India limited-overs squad for the tour of England. He made his debut against England at Chester-le-Street as a replacement for opener Virender Sehwag. Although Rahane made 40 runs at strike-rate of 90.90, India’s hopes of their first victory of the 2011 summer against England were thwarted by a washout at Chester-le-Street.

He did well in his maiden international series (2011 NatWest Series), against England in England, and in the return series. He made a 47 ball 54 on his second match of the latter tour. Rahane failed to impress in his next few limited over matches against West Indies, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and England.

Rahane made his second ODI fifty in 2013-14 Asia Cup, only to be followed by another slump. In a short ODI career in the middle order, Rahane has seemed unsure and struggled at times to find the balance between defence and attack. He showed signs of comfort at the top of the order with rapid centuries against England (September 2014) and Sri Lanka (November 2014), but Rohit Sharma’s second ODI double-century followed by a big hundred against Australia at the MCG pushed Rahane back to the middle order. T20s In the ICC Cricket World Cup followed, Rahane only managed to score 208 runs from 8 matches, with an average of 34.66. He was dropped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the second ODI against Bangladesh but after the series, he was appointed as captain of India for its tour of Zimbabwe for ODIs and T20Is in 2015 when a second string squad was selected. India won that ODI series 3–0, although Rahane was not able to leave any big impacts with the bat, he made a total of 112 in three matches with only one half-century in it. 

  • T20I career

Rahane made his international debut for India in a Twenty20 International against England at Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester in August 2011. He scored a half-century on this match (61 of 49) against an England attack comprising Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan. The match was the only T20I played by former Indian captain Rahul Dravid.

Rahane was part of Indian team make it to the final of 2014 World T20. After sitting on the bench for the first three matches he got a chance to play against Australia where he scored 19 runs. He gave India a good start in the semi-final scoring 32 runs as India went on to win the Match. He also captained India in the two Twenty20 International against Zimbabwe, winning the first and losing the second match. He scored 33 and 4 runs in those matches.


IPL career

Rahane was bought by Rajasthan Royals for the 2012 Indian Premier League. Previously, he was in the Mumbai Indians squad but got limited opportunities. And then, he caught the eye of Rajasthan Royals’ Shane Watson, who had watched him score an 80-ball hundred in a session in the second innings of a three-day game against Australia A in 2010. Having bought him from the Mumbai Indians, Rahul Dravid and Watson got Rahane to open the innings. “Opening the batting with Rahul bhai gave me a chance to express myself and showcase all that I had learned over the years,” Rahane explained.

Rahane had a successful stint with Rajasthan Royals, playing under Rahul Dravid’s mentorship. He rose to prominence in the 2012 IPL for Rajasthan Royals. He hit a match-winning 98 in his first game of IPL 2012 against Kings XI Punjab and followed that up with an unbeaten 103 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. His 84 off 63 balls against Delhi Daredevils was in vain though, as they lost by one run. In the 2012 IPL, Rahane became the first batsman to hit a century and emerged the leading run-scorer for Rajasthan Royals. He was retained by the Royals for the 2014 Premier League season.

Over the years, Rahul Dravid has been given a lot of credit for way Rahane has matured as a player. With Dravid guiding him, Rahane has transformed from a shy, long-format specialist into a player capable of batting at any position, in any format. Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar told NDTV, “What has been impressive about Rahane’s career is the way he has made those little changes that have helped him to get better in every format of the game. This batsman is a thinking batsman, who keeps thinking about how to get better and that is why he is such a vital cog in the Rajasthan Royals team and a vital cog in the Indian cricket team.”

For his performances in 2013, he was named in the Cricinfo CLT20 XI.

For his performances in 2015, he was named in the Cricinfo IPL XI for the season

Rahane had played for Rising Pune Supergiant in the 2016 and 2017 seasons when Rajasthan Royals were banned from the IPL for two years. Rahane was the leading run-scorer for RPS in the 2016 season. He had led RPS in a match against the Delhi Daredevils in the 2017 season when RPS captain Steve Smith missed out due to food poisoning.

In 2018, Rahane was brought back for Rs 4 crore by Rajasthan Royals by using a Right-to-Match card. Steve Smith was appointed as captain of Rajasthan Royals on 24 February 2018. Following the ball tampering scandal against South Africa, Steve Smith who was the captain of Australia stepped down as the Royals’ captain with Rahane set to lead Rajasthan Royals in the 2018 season. Smith was then subsequently banned from playing cricket for a year.

In 2012, Rahane came in limelight when he scored a magnificent century in IPL. The following years helped him join the international matches. His performance in the 2018 season worsened and his strike rate came into talk. He is no longer included in India’s ODI and T20I squads for international matches because of this reason. IPL 2019 was important for Rahane as he played some useful innings for Rajasthan; he also smashed a century against Delhi Capitals in the 2019 season and became the highest run scorer for Rajasthan Royals in that season. In November 2019, Rahane was transferred from Rajasthan Royals to Delhi Capitals ahead of the 2020 Indian Premier League. The franchise retained him for the IPL 2021 season. However, Rahane was barely included in any match for the 2021 season after some bad innings in the 2020 season.


Records and achievements

  • Test Matches
  • 5th Indian Batsman to score centuries in each innings of a Test

Highest number of catches by a non-wicketkeeper in a single Test match


Media image

He was ranked sixth in The Times of India‘s Top 20 Most Desirable Men of Maharashtra in 2018. He was ranked seventeenth in The Times of India‘s Top 20 Most Desirable Men of Maharashtra in 2020.


Awards

Shri Vijay Goel conferring the Arjuna Award on Cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, in New Delhi on September 16, 2016

  • CEAT Indian Cricketer of the Year: 2014–15
  • M A Chidambaram Trophy for best Under-19 cricketer: 2006–07
  • Arjuna Award: 2016

Content available under the (CC BY SA 3.0), via Wikipedia

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