England v India, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's, 1st day July 17, 2014

Rahane quietly bedding in as India's No. 6

Tough enough to score crucial runs, prepared for innings that don't have proper structure, content with not cashing in on flat ones, Ajinkya Rahane could be just the man for India
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Rahane: Top order laid the platform

When little Ajinkya Rahane used to lug his cricket kit in crowded Bombay local trains, from Dombivli to Victoria Terminus, an hour in fast services, longer in the slow one that stops at every station, it is highly unlikely he wanted to become a No. 6 batsman.

Fathers don't tell their kids, "Son, my only dream is to see you bat at No. 6." No. 6 is not sexy. You don't face the bowlers at their freshest, you don't get to set the tone, you are just reacting to the stage that has been set for you, sometimes really tough conditions even settle down by the time you come in to bat. When the pitch is easy you hardly get to bat; when the pitch is difficult, you get the tail for company. Your No. 6 has to be tough enough to score crucial runs, prepared for innings that don't have proper structure, content with not cashing in on flat ones, and happy with the opener or the No. 4 being the man.

Rahane, although an opener by training, might just be that man for India. He scored this Lord's hundred - special because everybody he knew built Lord's up massively by Wednesday night - from No. 5, but he is a No. 6 for all practical purposes: MS Dhoni comes in immediately after him. That century scored, rescuing India from 145 for 7, Rahane sought to sit back and deflect attention onto others. He kept repeating the innings was thanks to the top-order batsmen who had seen off the most difficult conditions. He thanked Bhuvneshwar Kumar for sticking around with him.

But if you looked up at the players' balcony when he brought up the hundred, with a push for four off James Anderson, England's best bowler and the bowler whose behaviour India have complained officially against, the sight of every member of the squad applauding that hundred told you he was the man. He had weathered the storm, shown enough discipline to score just one run behind square on the off side, played some gorgeous push-drives before lofting Anderson for a delightful six over long-on.

On Wednesday night Rahane had been nervous. Everyone kept reminding him how special a Lord's century could be. He had himself played a nervous shot to get out in the second innings of the last Test, just a nervous poke at a delivery he could have left alone. Rahane is prone to that. He is a nervous starter. He needs to watch for that push lacking intent early in the innings. This was Lord's, the ball was swinging and seaming, and wickets were tumbling at the other end.

Rahane did show signs of those nerves at the start; his first three balls: an edge that fell short of the cordon, beaten outside off, a single off the inside edge. But in the 37th over things clicked. He had faced nine balls by then. Now he began to get a solid forward stride in, and drove at a wide half-volley with an open face. Later in that over, he pushed one down the ground for four. The innings was underway, except that by the time he had faced 38 balls, Rahane had lost Cheteshwar Pujara and Dhoni. Now he would need to change his game.

Rahane didn't change. With every new batsman he had a chat. Were they comfortable if he took the single early in the over? It took you back to that endearing conversation he had with Ishant Sharma in Durban, with the latter saying he didn't want to face Dale Steyn. There, Rahane fell two short of what would have been a maiden century. He says he has made an attempt to not think of the hundred after that.

Ravindra Jadeja and Stuart Binny could not keep him company for long, but Rahane found an ally in Bhuvneshwar, who nearly scored a third fifty of this series. Like VVS Laxman before him, Rahane trusts tailenders, and doesn't try to hog the strike unless they ask him to. He also says he has been watching videos of Michael Hussey to learn how to bat with the tail. One of the important skills while batting with the tail is to be able to play big shots. You never know if the next over will leave you stranded.

Rahane has made that addition to his game of late. About three years ago, some domestic stalwarts used to fear Rahane would not make it because he did not have the bottle or the big shots. In this innings he showed he had both. Bottle in surviving the early spell, big shots when England were waiting for the new ball. His fifty came in the 71st over of the innings with the new ball almost certain to inflict damage. But by the time the new ball came, Rahane had raced along to 74, cutting Liam Plunkett in front of square repeatedly to avoid the third man trap, and pulling him emphatically.

When the new ball arrived, Rahane went after Anderson. Four, six, and he is 88. Four, four, and 98. Discipline, timing, placement, power, aggression had all been on display. When he reached the hundred, Rahane didn't make a big deal out of it. He showed more emotion when Bhuvneshwar got out, to a bit of a shooter. Bhuvneshwar was half way off the ground when Rahane caught up with him, patted his back, a little thank you there, and a big thank you in the press conference. This No. 6 is quietly bedding in.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Rufus_Fuddleduck on | July 18, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    Kudos Siddharth for accurately pointing out that Rahane did away with the sexy wafts to third man. He got his runs mostly through own muscle power, timing, grit and bloody-minded-getting-behind-the-line. Anderson won't forget that six in a hurry. Rahane looks set for a few more good 'uns but this sojourn will linger - perhaps his Kolkata moment. Apropos, while being smoothly incisive, no article on number 6 can be complete without benchmarking against the Laxman pillar. Now it is upto the bowlers to make sure this Test is Durban 2010 and not Cape Town, where the pitch was seen as helpful only for the first two sessions and no more.

  • POSTED BY on | July 19, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    At the present scenario , the certainties in the indian team , vijay, kohli, Pujara, Rahane, Dhoni, shami, Bhuvi - the others would be struggling - either need more confidence by persisting or resting them for at least one or two matches. This way the likes of Ashwin, Ishtar pandey. Rohit Sharma , gambhir should also be given opportunities to groom the indian team for future tours and test commitments.

    At least this way we develop more viable alternatives with rich blend of youth and experience. This English tour having a 5 test series, gives a golden chance to do so. Hope Lord Krishna induces the indian cricketing brains trust to do so.

    In short everyone should be given some chances - this way they also have confidence that they are also important and integral part of the Indian team. Otherwise injustice gets done to really good players like Ashwin to a great extent and Ishtar pandey , Rohit Sharma to some extent.

  • POSTED BY ProdigyA on | July 18, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    How many chances did Rahane get vs the ever so talented Rohit Sharma. This is what happens when you give chance to other players too instead of giving a chance to the repeated failures over and over again.

    Very happy for Rahane and wish him luck in future and hope he cements his place for a long time. Time to drop Dhoni now, Jadeja will automatically be dropped if Dhoni goes.

  • POSTED BY Ibanezfan on | July 18, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    Early days yet, but I hope Rahane grits it out and improves his skills to score more big match innings/hundreds and cements his place in the test team at #5. He looks the only real test batsman besides Pujara and Vijay in this Indian team. If he can settle in, and Pujara too, we just might have found something approaching a replacement for the Dravid-Laxman pairing that made Indian test batting a force to reckon with. But, like I said, early days yet. Too many pretenders waltzing into the Indian team these days, so it'll take a while to separate the men from the boys. Glad I got to watch some quality test match batting courtesy Rahane.

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2014, 11:16 GMT

    I dont agree with the theory of Rahane settling in No.5 or No.6. Rahane is clearly a No.1-3 batsman. Going by the recent trend it wouldnt be a bad idea to ask Pujara to open and ask Rahane to play in No.3

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 18, 2014, 10:20 GMT

    Yes. Rahane need to open with Vijay. Discard Dhawan. Ashwin to replace Jadeja. Bring back Rohit. Test team is ready for India matching to no.1

  • POSTED BY AdhishS on | July 18, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    Great and sensible batting from Jinx and Bhuvi, really pleasing to the eye. Hope this is just his 2nd of many more hundreds to come for India. The way Jinx celebrated after his century shows how composed and down to earth he is (alike Tendulkar and Dravid), something which the likes of Kohli can learn. Aggression is fine and is required but I dont understand why batsmen have to swear and use choicest of expletives after reaching the 100!

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    I agree with Beetjie; dont see Dhawan as an opener for India. He struggles so much in overseas conditions and needs a chance or two early in his innings to make any substantial score. Rahane / Gambhir should be opening with Vijay.

    Jadeja is not a test player, period... Ashwin at least shows more application while batting. Of course, Ashwin needs to improve his bowling overseas. Cant see how he would do it without getting opportunities.

    My first eleven would be, Vijay, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Dhoni, Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Bhuvi, Ishant, Shami / Ishwar Pandey / Aaron.

    I would prefer having someone other than Rohit at number 6. Rohit has been far too inconsistent. Another batsman need to be identified to keep Rohit honest.

  • POSTED BY Henry_Mancini on | July 18, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    Alas, I fear Rahane's sterling effort here will likely have no influence on the outcome of this match. Recent history has shown that no amount of runs are sufficient for Indian bowlers to defend! This is a shame, because such hard fought centuries are savoured more thoroughly in context of a team win.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | July 18, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    Rahane batted at number 5 and he should remain there. Don't stereotype the player just because he suits your narrative of a number 6 batsman.

  • POSTED BY Rufus_Fuddleduck on | July 18, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    Kudos Siddharth for accurately pointing out that Rahane did away with the sexy wafts to third man. He got his runs mostly through own muscle power, timing, grit and bloody-minded-getting-behind-the-line. Anderson won't forget that six in a hurry. Rahane looks set for a few more good 'uns but this sojourn will linger - perhaps his Kolkata moment. Apropos, while being smoothly incisive, no article on number 6 can be complete without benchmarking against the Laxman pillar. Now it is upto the bowlers to make sure this Test is Durban 2010 and not Cape Town, where the pitch was seen as helpful only for the first two sessions and no more.

  • POSTED BY on | July 19, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    At the present scenario , the certainties in the indian team , vijay, kohli, Pujara, Rahane, Dhoni, shami, Bhuvi - the others would be struggling - either need more confidence by persisting or resting them for at least one or two matches. This way the likes of Ashwin, Ishtar pandey. Rohit Sharma , gambhir should also be given opportunities to groom the indian team for future tours and test commitments.

    At least this way we develop more viable alternatives with rich blend of youth and experience. This English tour having a 5 test series, gives a golden chance to do so. Hope Lord Krishna induces the indian cricketing brains trust to do so.

    In short everyone should be given some chances - this way they also have confidence that they are also important and integral part of the Indian team. Otherwise injustice gets done to really good players like Ashwin to a great extent and Ishtar pandey , Rohit Sharma to some extent.

  • POSTED BY ProdigyA on | July 18, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    How many chances did Rahane get vs the ever so talented Rohit Sharma. This is what happens when you give chance to other players too instead of giving a chance to the repeated failures over and over again.

    Very happy for Rahane and wish him luck in future and hope he cements his place for a long time. Time to drop Dhoni now, Jadeja will automatically be dropped if Dhoni goes.

  • POSTED BY Ibanezfan on | July 18, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    Early days yet, but I hope Rahane grits it out and improves his skills to score more big match innings/hundreds and cements his place in the test team at #5. He looks the only real test batsman besides Pujara and Vijay in this Indian team. If he can settle in, and Pujara too, we just might have found something approaching a replacement for the Dravid-Laxman pairing that made Indian test batting a force to reckon with. But, like I said, early days yet. Too many pretenders waltzing into the Indian team these days, so it'll take a while to separate the men from the boys. Glad I got to watch some quality test match batting courtesy Rahane.

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2014, 11:16 GMT

    I dont agree with the theory of Rahane settling in No.5 or No.6. Rahane is clearly a No.1-3 batsman. Going by the recent trend it wouldnt be a bad idea to ask Pujara to open and ask Rahane to play in No.3

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 18, 2014, 10:20 GMT

    Yes. Rahane need to open with Vijay. Discard Dhawan. Ashwin to replace Jadeja. Bring back Rohit. Test team is ready for India matching to no.1

  • POSTED BY AdhishS on | July 18, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    Great and sensible batting from Jinx and Bhuvi, really pleasing to the eye. Hope this is just his 2nd of many more hundreds to come for India. The way Jinx celebrated after his century shows how composed and down to earth he is (alike Tendulkar and Dravid), something which the likes of Kohli can learn. Aggression is fine and is required but I dont understand why batsmen have to swear and use choicest of expletives after reaching the 100!

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    I agree with Beetjie; dont see Dhawan as an opener for India. He struggles so much in overseas conditions and needs a chance or two early in his innings to make any substantial score. Rahane / Gambhir should be opening with Vijay.

    Jadeja is not a test player, period... Ashwin at least shows more application while batting. Of course, Ashwin needs to improve his bowling overseas. Cant see how he would do it without getting opportunities.

    My first eleven would be, Vijay, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Dhoni, Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Bhuvi, Ishant, Shami / Ishwar Pandey / Aaron.

    I would prefer having someone other than Rohit at number 6. Rohit has been far too inconsistent. Another batsman need to be identified to keep Rohit honest.

  • POSTED BY Henry_Mancini on | July 18, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    Alas, I fear Rahane's sterling effort here will likely have no influence on the outcome of this match. Recent history has shown that no amount of runs are sufficient for Indian bowlers to defend! This is a shame, because such hard fought centuries are savoured more thoroughly in context of a team win.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | July 18, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    Rahane batted at number 5 and he should remain there. Don't stereotype the player just because he suits your narrative of a number 6 batsman.

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    Ajinkya Rahane has stamped his arrival with this hundred. And my heart goes out for Bhuvneshwar. He makes the best of any opportunity coming his way. The likes of Jadeja need to learn from Bhuvi. Jadeja has been trusted many a times by Dhoni and selectors for playing the key role of complete all-rounder but has been found wanting on the batting front grossly. He must encash this opportunity to cement his place in the team.

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2014, 6:16 GMT

    Love Jinks. He is class. Now drop Dhawan, get Gambhir in. Next drop Jadeja and bring Ashwin in. Finally drop Dhoni (for test only) and bring in Wriddhiman Saha. Virat should be captain.

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | July 18, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    Rahane batted at no 5 not no 6. He should not bat any lower than no5. He can build the innings, he can accelerate, thanks to IPL experience. 96 in SA. Century in NZ. And now another century in England.

    In their short careers every Indian batsman have scored centuries overseas.Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara , Kohli, Rahane. Expect many more.

    Team for the next match: Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Jadeja/Binny, Shami, Ishant.

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    Rahane started off as a top order batsman, batting for Mumbai in his 1st 2-3 seasons as an opener or at 3, & as an opener he shd be used. Openers need to have tight techniques - which Rahane has. Dhawan is far too flashy, will score heavily once in a while, but his game is far too loose to succeed in overseas conditions consistently. India shd definitely replace Dhawan with Rahane, bring in Rohit Sharma for Rahane & Ashwin for Jadeja (calling whom an all-rounder at Test level is a joke).

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 18, 2014, 5:19 GMT

    Rahane is good fr middle order..next test yu can trai gambir has a opener....rahane all ways good fr middle order..even onday or t20 or rst of he should be middle order

  • POSTED BY joycricket on | July 18, 2014, 5:11 GMT

    I like the way he celebrates his century. No jumping, no screaming, no swearing, simple, enjoy the moment, move on with it. It makes a pleasant view

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 18, 2014, 5:01 GMT

    Hahaha... Astonished to read comments abt dropping kohli. Dropping kohli??? R u kidding me??? He is a grt player with d rite technique. Just 2-3 low scoring innings and drop him Cnt understand wat playing 11 these people want.. Guys instead of criticizing support team india nd their decisions.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 18, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    Wanted Pujara and Vijay to Open the batting and Kohli to No.3 and Rahane and Rohit next place and Dhoni to Come and play his natural Game and Score runs As Fast as he and Ending with Ashwin, jadaja/Bunny bhuvi shami Varon/ishwar pandey to play Next Match

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 18, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    Wanted Pujara and Vijay to Open the batting and Kohli to No.3 and Rahane and Rohit next place and Dhoni to Come and play his natural Game and Score runs As Fast as he and Ending with Ashwin, jadaja/Bunny bhuvi shami Varon/ishwar pandey to play Next Match

  • POSTED BY roversgate on | July 18, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    Good article but not a fan of the title. Rahane should be the number 5 not the number 6. It doesn't matter if Rohit Sharma comes back or they find someone else. Rahane should remain at #5 and if he is moved down to 6 again then this team management will have to answer some serious questions about inflexibility.

  • POSTED BY Veda_Santhosh on | July 18, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    Despite being an Indian, Rahane has a rare skill of playing the pull shots...Dravid use to have the same skill during his early days...remember dravid's 148 at his first tour, the only batsman confortable in playing pull shots...good work...

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 18, 2014, 4:21 GMT

    hes gonna be at no 5 only. pujara virat and rahane is the next dravid sachin and laxman

  • POSTED BY brijeshrahul on | July 18, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Rahane has to bat above kohli in this format because he has good temperment to play this format...

  • POSTED BY kr_kinshuk on | July 18, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    I'll be very honest. I didn't expect Rahane to be this good. Yes, his domestic record was exceptional. A lot of commentators said very good things even before he made the team. But, I do not have a lot of faith in the numbers chalked up at the Ranji level. There've been too many Ranji phenomena who've been found out brutally at the international level either because of technical issues or simply because they didn't have the temperament to cope at that level. However, in the brief time that he's been here,Rahane has looked the part. He can play the rising ball. He can play in the company of the tail. He can get you the tough runs when they're hard to come by.& he can look very attractive getting those runs. Now, let's just hope that he can keep the show going. Because it's a matter of time before Pujara starts converting those slow, solid starts into the big monumental knocks he seems to have the potential for. Which is when we'll have successfully found our new dravid & laxman.

  • POSTED BY mandi on | July 18, 2014, 3:18 GMT

    rahane ahead of rohit idea working now,rahane play very calmly nd aggressively too

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2014, 2:51 GMT

    Brilliant century ? The way Kumar is playing he should definitely come anead of Binny...

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2014, 2:48 GMT

    The headline of the article is not correct. Rahane is batting at #5 and that is the best position for him to bat at in the current Indian team. If Rohit Sharma plays then he should be batting at #6 and not Rahane. In the tours of SA and NZ Rahane has shown that he is much better Test player than the overrarted Rohit Sharma. So, the Indian management has rightly decided to drop Rohit and play Rahane at #5. I think Laxman's case was similar to this when he was batting at #6 after Ganguly, when in fact he should have been batting before Ganguly.

  • POSTED BY sri1ram on | July 18, 2014, 2:29 GMT

    This one was a lovely, lively piece of sports writing by Monga. Taut, interesting and with a nice start, good build-up and followed by a touching ending. Great work.

  • POSTED BY Sexysteven on | July 18, 2014, 2:27 GMT

    Yes rahane played well he still looks like an opener to me but while he's performing down the order I guess u can't move him back to open it sounds like he likes batting with the tail and you do need players who are good with the tail but I still wana find room for rohit he's to good to be sitting on the sidelines he should be able to handle the English conditions with his classical and classy looking technique and I think Aaron and ashwin should also be playing

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2014, 1:57 GMT

    He is slowly filling in the shoes of Laxman, no doubt. He has proved in SA, NZ, and now England. All his hard work and the long wait is paying rich dividend now.

  • POSTED BY JustIPL on | July 18, 2014, 0:54 GMT

    he will soon replace kohli from the no 4 slot.

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2014, 0:53 GMT

    Ajinkya Rahane has the makings of a good solid Test batsman. In addition, he is unassuming and gives others credit for a job well done. Rather than Kohli, Rahane is the player that youngsters should attempt to emulate. Well done, Ajinkya, we are with you all the way. Go, do India proud.

  • POSTED BY itsthewayuplay on | July 18, 2014, 0:23 GMT

    Rahane quietly bedding in as India's No. 6? He batted at 5 in this innings and the first test at Trent Bridge. Could easily bat at number 6 and India should occasionally consider swapping him and Kohli when the need arises.

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2014, 0:23 GMT

    Rahane coming from Darvid's nurturing school showing good definace and, character on and off the filed. Hope Binny can establish himself, he seems to be another Dravid mentored product.

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2014, 23:54 GMT

    I am so glad finally Rahane has moved out of the shadows of Rohit Sharma. I have been a fan of this young man and with Pujara and Kohli could be the new trimurthi...

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2014, 23:53 GMT

    He is a cricketer to watch out for his experience in the ipl has improved his game. and with dravid as his mentor at RR will further improve his game

  • POSTED BY JaranNirsi on | July 17, 2014, 22:37 GMT

    Nice summary of Rahane. Rahane is the ideal No 3 in a team blessed with a strong opening pair: he is always looking to push the score along, and has shots that Pujara either doesn't, of song put on display. Temperamentally, both are strong, bug I suspect that Rahane is the more complete team man. His talking things through with the tail, and his unselfish ability to farm the danger end when required, is quickly reminiscent of Dravid. He is a real talent, with great potential. He should go far.

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2014, 22:13 GMT

    Replace Jadeja and Dhawan and this would be a fine batting side, especially when Kohli gets back his form.

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2014, 22:00 GMT

    Well said Mr. Sidharth!! Fantastic and well deserved hundred in a very tough time. He is improving a lot and also the confidence. I loved the way he batted first and half.

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2014, 21:59 GMT

    I think there's a manjor error here - Dhoni coming after you does not make you no.6, it is the number of batsmen coming before you, which is 4 in this case and hence Rahaane is a natural no. 5. And if you ask me, he should not be played any lower than that. If the Binny experiment does work for India, I think the playing XI can be pretty much solidified, with an Australia tour coming up. There's always room for a Gambhir here and an Ishwar Pandey/Umesh Yadav there.. but the core of this playing XI looks solid, albeit some big guns find their test form quickly.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | July 17, 2014, 21:55 GMT

    The presupposition is that India have settled openers. Not so. Dhawan has been found out and Rahane is a better partner for Vijay, also in Australia. That leaves Sharma at 5 and India still an all rounder short at number 6. That is clearly the way many teams would like to go if they have someone. Given India's bowling attack and record abroad it is a necessity, not a wish. Thus no Rahane nor Dhoni but someone who can bowl at 6 or 7. Ashwin may be that man at 7 if Dhoni remains at 6. Kumar is a natural 8, also in Australia. That leaves Sharma, Shami and Arun/AN Other to complete a 5 man attack with no bits and pieces players such as Binny and Jadeja!

  • POSTED BY tests_the_best on | July 17, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    Rahane should actually stick to no. 5. It's quite unfortunate if one of the best batsmen in any side frequently ends up with scores of 30 not out, 75 not out etc. simply because the tail got out and he ran out of partners. In fact conventional logic suggests that batsmen lower down the order are promoted up the order when they start performing consistently. In the case of VVS Laxman, he couldn't move up from no 6 or 5 because there were players like Dravid, SRT, Ganguly in front of him. But in case of Rahane, it wouldn't make any sense for Rohit Sharma or anyone else at no 5 with Rahane coming next. But he seems to be one for the long run, I see him scoring lotsof centuries or rearguard efforts like Laxman irrespective of where he bats.

  • POSTED BY Unmesh_cric on | July 17, 2014, 21:02 GMT

    I am really happy that Rahane is doing well. He was made to warm the benches for too long. Guys like Raina, whose first class average is in 40s, played ahead of him in Tests! I think Rahane's debut was unnecessarily delayed by at least 2 years. But better late than never. At least he is doing well when given a chance. He is also one of the nicest and unassuming players around. Keep it up, Ajinkya!

  • POSTED BY cricraz on | July 17, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    Rahane is a pleasure to watch, throwback kind of cricketer. He reminds me of Gavaskar, Manjrekar and Vengsarkar. There is something special about Bombay batsman, their technique, focus and concentration is one to emulate. To set the record straight, I am not from bombay or marathi manoos, but I have always admired the Gavaskar school of cricket. Rahane certainly belongs to that class of players, technically correct, humble and dogged determination to succeed.

  • POSTED BY sandeepBS on | July 17, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    love to see many more knocks from Rahane..

  • POSTED BY amitdashore on | July 17, 2014, 20:47 GMT

    the best innings of character after missing that ton in SA.. n definitely the best batsman by far in this new young Indian line-up. hope the 'big stars' - dhawan, pujara n kohli - take a leaf out of his book n start performing as well. i know they r getting starts but thats not enough at this stage, at stage where theres more than just a match or even just a series on stake.. its pride on stake! be it if they need to be dropped to make them understand the value of their wicket. let gambhir, saha, rohit play n prove if they r more or less worthy, let binny prove if his selection was justified or ashwin should play in as 5th bowler who can bat. let there be competition between dhoni n kohli to lead. let there be competition beyond just the opponent, let their be competition among the players as well so that no one takes their place for granted n start performing. let the performance talk!

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2014, 20:34 GMT

    The more I see him, the more I like him. He was really solid in SA last year, and seems to have no problem playing outside Asia. Really good fielder too.

  • POSTED BY CalvinTheCricLover on | July 17, 2014, 20:28 GMT

    Its four runs short in durban not two. Dhawan got out for 98. Everyone keeps confusing that score with Rahane's now

  • POSTED BY CalvinTheCricLover on | July 17, 2014, 20:28 GMT

    Its four runs short in durban not two. Dhawan got out for 98. Everyone keeps confusing that score with Rahane's now

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2014, 20:34 GMT

    The more I see him, the more I like him. He was really solid in SA last year, and seems to have no problem playing outside Asia. Really good fielder too.

  • POSTED BY amitdashore on | July 17, 2014, 20:47 GMT

    the best innings of character after missing that ton in SA.. n definitely the best batsman by far in this new young Indian line-up. hope the 'big stars' - dhawan, pujara n kohli - take a leaf out of his book n start performing as well. i know they r getting starts but thats not enough at this stage, at stage where theres more than just a match or even just a series on stake.. its pride on stake! be it if they need to be dropped to make them understand the value of their wicket. let gambhir, saha, rohit play n prove if they r more or less worthy, let binny prove if his selection was justified or ashwin should play in as 5th bowler who can bat. let there be competition between dhoni n kohli to lead. let there be competition beyond just the opponent, let their be competition among the players as well so that no one takes their place for granted n start performing. let the performance talk!

  • POSTED BY sandeepBS on | July 17, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    love to see many more knocks from Rahane..

  • POSTED BY cricraz on | July 17, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    Rahane is a pleasure to watch, throwback kind of cricketer. He reminds me of Gavaskar, Manjrekar and Vengsarkar. There is something special about Bombay batsman, their technique, focus and concentration is one to emulate. To set the record straight, I am not from bombay or marathi manoos, but I have always admired the Gavaskar school of cricket. Rahane certainly belongs to that class of players, technically correct, humble and dogged determination to succeed.

  • POSTED BY Unmesh_cric on | July 17, 2014, 21:02 GMT

    I am really happy that Rahane is doing well. He was made to warm the benches for too long. Guys like Raina, whose first class average is in 40s, played ahead of him in Tests! I think Rahane's debut was unnecessarily delayed by at least 2 years. But better late than never. At least he is doing well when given a chance. He is also one of the nicest and unassuming players around. Keep it up, Ajinkya!

  • POSTED BY tests_the_best on | July 17, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    Rahane should actually stick to no. 5. It's quite unfortunate if one of the best batsmen in any side frequently ends up with scores of 30 not out, 75 not out etc. simply because the tail got out and he ran out of partners. In fact conventional logic suggests that batsmen lower down the order are promoted up the order when they start performing consistently. In the case of VVS Laxman, he couldn't move up from no 6 or 5 because there were players like Dravid, SRT, Ganguly in front of him. But in case of Rahane, it wouldn't make any sense for Rohit Sharma or anyone else at no 5 with Rahane coming next. But he seems to be one for the long run, I see him scoring lotsof centuries or rearguard efforts like Laxman irrespective of where he bats.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | July 17, 2014, 21:55 GMT

    The presupposition is that India have settled openers. Not so. Dhawan has been found out and Rahane is a better partner for Vijay, also in Australia. That leaves Sharma at 5 and India still an all rounder short at number 6. That is clearly the way many teams would like to go if they have someone. Given India's bowling attack and record abroad it is a necessity, not a wish. Thus no Rahane nor Dhoni but someone who can bowl at 6 or 7. Ashwin may be that man at 7 if Dhoni remains at 6. Kumar is a natural 8, also in Australia. That leaves Sharma, Shami and Arun/AN Other to complete a 5 man attack with no bits and pieces players such as Binny and Jadeja!

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2014, 21:59 GMT

    I think there's a manjor error here - Dhoni coming after you does not make you no.6, it is the number of batsmen coming before you, which is 4 in this case and hence Rahaane is a natural no. 5. And if you ask me, he should not be played any lower than that. If the Binny experiment does work for India, I think the playing XI can be pretty much solidified, with an Australia tour coming up. There's always room for a Gambhir here and an Ishwar Pandey/Umesh Yadav there.. but the core of this playing XI looks solid, albeit some big guns find their test form quickly.

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2014, 22:00 GMT

    Well said Mr. Sidharth!! Fantastic and well deserved hundred in a very tough time. He is improving a lot and also the confidence. I loved the way he batted first and half.