May 29, 2012

What, me slog?

One of the successes of the IPL this year has been Ajinkya Rahane, a batsman who's the opposite of a six-a-minute swashbuckler
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Ajinkya Rahane is a bit of an anachronism. In the era of Virat Kohli, he is "shy" by his own admission. In the era of the scoop and the slog, his release strokes are over extra cover and straight down the ground. He talks about safety and patience. In T20.

Unlike some of his contemporaries, Rahane has forced his way into the Indian team the old-fashioned way, through the sheer weight of first-class runs over four seasons. He is widely expected, along with Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli, to be part of India's Test line-up in the near future. But to end up competing with Chris Gayle on the run-scoring charts in IPL 2012? Considering he had a T20 average of 16.66 and a strike rate of 110 going into the tournament?

No one, Rahane included, would have expected he would end this IPL with 560 runs, including an unbeaten hundred, and 98 in Rajasthan Royals' opening game. Once he got in, the strike rate took care of itself. The hundred came at 171.66, the 98 at 148.48.

Rahane made his T20 debut before he played his first first-class game, both in 2007, but had unflattering returns in his three IPL seasons before this one, for Mumbai Indians and Royals. Why did it take him so long to have such a productive season?

"Instead of looking at it in that manner, I would say that this season was good for me because of whatever I have learnt in the last four years," he says. "That experience and the knowledge of T20 helped me this year. I also got a lot of opportunities this season, and due to a combination of all these factors was able to excel."

That he opened the innings all through this season, as opposed to just once before, also made a difference. Rahane is primarily a top-order batsman - which is probably why he feels there is plenty of time, even in a T20 game. "It appears to us that 20 overs are not much. But when you go out to bat, you realise that 20 overs is also a lot."

He has always been a free-flowing batsman, but he says that it is the patience developed batting hours and hours in first-class cricket that he has benefited from in this IPL. "You have to be very patient and focused when you play first-class cricket, and that has helped me in T20. I believe that you can succeed even in T20 if you are patient instead of panicking. If you don't panic, you can think better. This is where experience helped me."

He talks about his pre-season preparation, and there is the inevitable mention of Rahul Dravid, his Royals captain and idol. "I had done a lot of work before this IPL season, including on improvising my shots. I was batting well in our pre-season camp and in the practice matches we played. I had a hundred in the Deodhar Trophy final as well. In the camp, I was making 30-35 runs but getting out.

"I had a chat with Rahul bhai. He told me that some things happen for a reason. 'You are getting out now, but you will make a lot of runs in the IPL,' he said. 'You just ensure that you do not think too much about the runs. You are batting well, just keep that going. The runs will come.' I kept that in mind and concentrated on the basics. I guess it is probably because I kept my game simple that I was able to improvise and do whatever I had thought of doing."

While many scoop, reverse-sweep and switch-hit, those shots aren't for Rahane, who prefers to hit down the ground and over cover. "I was just backing my ability and my shots. I know what my strengths are, which shots will fetch me runs and what the safe options are. So I was focusing on all that."

The natural hitting response of a batsman is to usually slog over midwicket, not go inside-out over extra cover. Doesn't he feel like going cross-batted, especially under pressure? "Obviously these thoughts do come in your head. But as I said, I had decided that I will back my ability and my options. I kept it simple and things just kept happening."

"It appears to us that 20 overs are not much. But when you go out to bat, you realise that it is a lot"

They certainly did. Even against offspinners, against the turn, Rahane lofted over extra cover. "A lot of times, the offspinner thinks that the batsman will slog at me, but does not envisage that he could be hit in other regions."

Another favoured shot was the back-foot lofted straight punch against the spinners, his "safe" stroke. "That shot, we know, is a safe option. When you hit over the bowler, you'll get at least two, maybe even a four or a six if you hit it well. It is the safest option. I was thinking about such safe shots which can fetch me runs and where the risk involved is less.

"On many occasions, I practised, along with my coaches, Monty Desai and Zubin Bharucha, before the rest of the team did or after everyone was done. It is not that I went into the match and played those shots straightaway. I knew that the season was very important for me, and the more priority I gave to such matters, the more I would get out of cricket."

In an age where power-hitting is all around him, and only getting more prevalent, does he feel sticking to a "touch" game like his is difficult? Even someone like Rohit Sharma, who probably relies as much on timing as Rahane does, has hit 122 sixes in 115 T20 innings. Rahane has 18 in 54.

"I don't compare myself with others. I know that my competition is with myself," Rahane says. "My constant endeavour is to improve in the future. Like now, I scored 560 runs but I am not that satisfied, as in the last three-four games, I got out early. I think I could have done better. I will look to not repeat those mistakes."

The tour of West Indies in June with India A will provide him an opportunity to do that. The confidence of his IPL runs will be a boost. "IPL gives you a lot of confidence and exposure as you play against experienced international bowlers. Definitely it will help. I got to play against good attacks.

"But whatever I have done, I will look to begin afresh. New conditions, new challenge. It is a big tour. I will try to start from scratch and look to adjust as soon as possible to all three formats. This is my first trip to West Indies and I don't know how the conditions will be." As long as he plays safe and patient, he should be all right.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricketcrazzychick on June 1, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    Future of Indian cricket is in safe hands with players like Rohit Sharma,Ajinkya Rahane and Dhawal Kulkarni..

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on May 31, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    @natmastak_so-called, mate I simply mentioned Dravid's name like many others in my first post. Don't see any reason why rayfanatics should start talking about Dravid's quality while quoting me. Obviously, I had to reply to him.

  • natmastak_so-called on May 31, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    @ drvid gravitas : of late , you seem to be like those sachin fanatics, who unnecessorily bring him in each and every discussion.you do that with dravid . fyi : I like them both.

  • the_blue_android on May 31, 2012, 0:56 GMT

    Y'all may be hopefull but nothing's gonna happen. Sehwag, Sachin, VVS are not going to retire on their own and the selectors are too sentimental to drop them. These guys will easily play for another 2-3 years and by then Rahane will be 27 and will go the Badrinath way...

  • HyderabadiFlick on May 30, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    India's future man-to-man replacements.Dravid = Pujara,Sachin = Kohli,Laxman = Rohit, Rahane shld replace current no.6.After a certain period of time India can consider shuffling them.We do not know how the results will be but this would be an ideal choice to start with.S.Badrinath is a good player no doubt but lacks intl' temperament and unfortunately he is on the wrong side of his age.In Indian conditions the spinners will do well and win matches but in foreign conditions India need good bowling unit and a attacking captain.Dhoni started well as a proactive test captain but off-late his body language has been very casual and he never goes for a kill in a test match when the opposition tail is batting and his field settings has been very pessimistic in many tests when a fast bowler is in operation.India must introduce someone from IPL as a surprise. Hope Indian cricket will go in the right direction from home series against England after all the frustrating times last year in tests.

  • sony_sr on May 30, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    Don't think we can yet compare rahane to dravid. We will see after he gets a chance to play the opening spell from 2 world class bowlers on a green top in a test match situation. say 10 overs from steyn and morkel at durban.

  • Jishnu.v.v on May 30, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    @SudharsanVM :

    I would like to see Rahane open the ininings with Gambhir. Sehwag needs to be rested/dropped due to his attitude.

    And badrinath should take Dravid's position solely because of his experience in the domestic circuit and technique.

    badrinath is an unsung hero of TN cricket like Lakshmipathy balaji.

  • 777aditya on May 30, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    let's not forget that Rahane did equally well in English conditions - just keeping my fingers crossed. There will be no player ever like Dravid, Sachin, or Kumble, but even if these young players achieve 70% of what these legends achieved, Indian cricket has a great future!

  • Jishnu.v.v on May 30, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    @ab_cricket i like your comment on badrinath as in you are comparing him to Mike Hussey.. Indeed he is the Indian Mike Hussey!!!

    I love his batting and fielding... Brilliant fielder... But very under estimated. I hope atleast he plays for India in the test team in the future..

    We have seen what Mr Cricket has done since his debut at the age of 29. Badrinath is 32 BUT SO WHAT... he can definately contribute for atleast another 5 years!!

  • DEV_ME on May 30, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas : You and I speak the same language !

  • cricketcrazzychick on June 1, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    Future of Indian cricket is in safe hands with players like Rohit Sharma,Ajinkya Rahane and Dhawal Kulkarni..

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on May 31, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    @natmastak_so-called, mate I simply mentioned Dravid's name like many others in my first post. Don't see any reason why rayfanatics should start talking about Dravid's quality while quoting me. Obviously, I had to reply to him.

  • natmastak_so-called on May 31, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    @ drvid gravitas : of late , you seem to be like those sachin fanatics, who unnecessorily bring him in each and every discussion.you do that with dravid . fyi : I like them both.

  • the_blue_android on May 31, 2012, 0:56 GMT

    Y'all may be hopefull but nothing's gonna happen. Sehwag, Sachin, VVS are not going to retire on their own and the selectors are too sentimental to drop them. These guys will easily play for another 2-3 years and by then Rahane will be 27 and will go the Badrinath way...

  • HyderabadiFlick on May 30, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    India's future man-to-man replacements.Dravid = Pujara,Sachin = Kohli,Laxman = Rohit, Rahane shld replace current no.6.After a certain period of time India can consider shuffling them.We do not know how the results will be but this would be an ideal choice to start with.S.Badrinath is a good player no doubt but lacks intl' temperament and unfortunately he is on the wrong side of his age.In Indian conditions the spinners will do well and win matches but in foreign conditions India need good bowling unit and a attacking captain.Dhoni started well as a proactive test captain but off-late his body language has been very casual and he never goes for a kill in a test match when the opposition tail is batting and his field settings has been very pessimistic in many tests when a fast bowler is in operation.India must introduce someone from IPL as a surprise. Hope Indian cricket will go in the right direction from home series against England after all the frustrating times last year in tests.

  • sony_sr on May 30, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    Don't think we can yet compare rahane to dravid. We will see after he gets a chance to play the opening spell from 2 world class bowlers on a green top in a test match situation. say 10 overs from steyn and morkel at durban.

  • Jishnu.v.v on May 30, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    @SudharsanVM :

    I would like to see Rahane open the ininings with Gambhir. Sehwag needs to be rested/dropped due to his attitude.

    And badrinath should take Dravid's position solely because of his experience in the domestic circuit and technique.

    badrinath is an unsung hero of TN cricket like Lakshmipathy balaji.

  • 777aditya on May 30, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    let's not forget that Rahane did equally well in English conditions - just keeping my fingers crossed. There will be no player ever like Dravid, Sachin, or Kumble, but even if these young players achieve 70% of what these legends achieved, Indian cricket has a great future!

  • Jishnu.v.v on May 30, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    @ab_cricket i like your comment on badrinath as in you are comparing him to Mike Hussey.. Indeed he is the Indian Mike Hussey!!!

    I love his batting and fielding... Brilliant fielder... But very under estimated. I hope atleast he plays for India in the test team in the future..

    We have seen what Mr Cricket has done since his debut at the age of 29. Badrinath is 32 BUT SO WHAT... he can definately contribute for atleast another 5 years!!

  • DEV_ME on May 30, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas : You and I speak the same language !

  • ooper_cut on May 30, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    Please do not compare Rohit Sharma with this kid, Rohit is nowhere near him.

  • Naresh28 on May 30, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    Lets not get carried away. Indian batsman main problem is facing high bounce at pace. In overseas conditions the real test will emerge. Gambhir failed in Oz and ENgland. A tall, batsman with technique is needed to replace the likes of Dravid and Laxman. I like Rohit Sharma but he is careless. I take my word back about England - they deserve to be number 1. They destroyed India's confidence in test's.

  • SudharsanVM on May 30, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    So for the IndiaVsNZ test series in august, Who will be taking the spot of dravid? Badrinath/ rahane/ Rsharma?

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on May 30, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    @rayfanatics, I'm sure you and I watched different Dravids. The Dravid that I know scored his first century against a menacing Donald, Pollock, McMilan and Klusner - in their backyard. Brought Akthar and co to their knees with a 270 in their backyard. Left McGrath, Warne and Gillespie clueless at Kolkata, scored two centuries in a single test against the Pakistanis at Kolkata, scored 3 centuries in 4 tests against a rampant English pacers (all bowling over 140) and the cunning Jimmy. So, Sir, stop cracking me up.

  • maddy20 on May 30, 2012, 1:12 GMT

    @CSpiers He is one of the 5 batsmen who boast an average of above 50 in FC cricket. Rohit, Pandey, Pujara, Badrinath bwing the others. These are players of immense caliber, technique and temperament(except Rohit). All the others average less than 50. You can see how well Rahane played in England, in his first overseas tour.

  • CSpiers on May 29, 2012, 23:07 GMT

    man the tracks are getting EVEN flatter in India these days, a FC average of 68 for this guy? please...

  • ab_cricket on May 29, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    Rahane has played well as was expected. The only thing that is to worry about is that whether he can win matches single handed with no support from other batsmen in a pressure situation. I'm sure he has the ability. The other thing that everybody's been talking about is the new trinity of Rahane/ Rohit/ Kohli, I think all of them have to prove a lot. While Rahane has not been tested overseas. Rohit Sharma is extremely talented but equally careless. Kohli is mentally strong but then he has technical problems which will be exposed at some time. Also, the list of future Indian Test Batsman should have names of Ambati Rayudu & S. Badrinath (Indian Mike Hussey)

  • Romenevans on May 29, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    Love the way handles fast bowlers and guide those wide off side swinging deliveries to third-man. Compared to Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya is miles ahead and should be immediately groomed in Indian team as a perfect rahul dravid replacement.

  • rayfanatics on May 29, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    @dravid_gravitas, just because a batsmen is a purist doesn't make him a quality player. Rahane and a player similar to him Shikhar Dhawan have a tendency to get bogged down in face of quality bowling, not very different from your fav player Dravid. Nothing against Such player, but each one has a different role and if on one hand if you have players like Rahane, Pujara , on the other side Kohli and Rohit are also needed to dominate the opposition. Kohli might be a bold brash youth, but he undoubtedly has set the ODI stage on fire.

  • QingdaoXI on May 29, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    India should start the rebuilding of test team right now because next 10 test are going to be played in India vs NZ/ENG/AUS. So it is right time to test the young talent, dont look after the rankings otherwise we will face a big heat once India with Sehwag, Dhoni, Laxman, Gambir and Also fading tendulkar will repeat the mistakes in next overseas series in SAF& NZ in 2013-14. It is the right time to give chance for the youngsters to develop there game in test and have a confidence going into away series. My Team: Mukund, Rahane and Gambhir (Opener), Pujara, Rohit, Kohli, Tendulkar and Mandeep (Middle-Order), Kartik, Saha (Keeper), Ashwin, Ojha and Rahul (Spinner), Yadav, Aaroon, Awana(All vs NZ) and this 2 + Zaheer or Ishant or Sreesanth vs ENG/Aus. I personally think Zaheer Should play only test cricket now. Drop Sehwag and Laxman straight from the squad and ask tendulkar whether he is willing to serve India for 3 years. If yes he will be picked for this series or better say good bye

  • muralikrish85 on May 29, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    Rahane is a pretty good young prospect. But he needs to improve his technique and needs to be more solid around that off stump if he has to fill the void that will be left by players like Rahul Dravid and Sachin in the future.

  • Selassie-I on May 29, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    Rahane should have been in the odi team for a while now, or at least given a game. He was good at the top of the order and consistantly laid the platform for the middle order to play their strokes and was key in their 5-0 whitewash of us last year. givethe lad a chance, it's a shame that the Indian selectors pick players on box office appeal rather than their likleyhood to contribute to a win.

  • RockcityGuy on May 29, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas...if having an average of over 50 and hitting 11 hundreds in 80 odis is not setting the stage on fire I wonder what is???? 560 runs in ipl???

  • on May 29, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    I think hard working guys always have to work twice as hard as the glamour boys. It seems like Bimbos work in cricket as well as in show biz :)

  • VivTheKing on May 29, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    No way. Definitely he is not 'next' dravid. May be 50% of dravid by the time he retires from Cricket. But strangely his case is one more example to prove that any player who has strong basics can easily flourish in a showbiz tournament like IPL

  • satish619chandar on May 29, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas: The ERA mentioned in the article is not for the period but onfield behavior i guess.. Without proper ground shots and somewhat shaky offside play - cant hit ground shots clearly.. Rahane apart from being silent, no way can be compared to Dravid.. Dravid is 100% technically sound whereas, Rahane is somewhere 60-70%.. Still has a lots to improve in terms of patience in longer formats - Even ODI.. He was very shaky in home ODIs against England..

  • satish619chandar on May 29, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    Great guy.. He was very good in domestic cricket.. But to perform in IPL, it requires a bit more than what you do in domestic circuit.. Though it is just a 20 overs game, you need to face some of best bowlers and more quality.. It will really test you.. What Rahane more than his runs is, the manner which he got them.. He can surely improve on his front foot play.. He is good in pulling and straight hits.. On negative side, cover drive and cut doesn't come off that much.. He often hits in the air and i am still to see proper cover drive with high elbow and on the ground shot from him.. England worked on that and made him dud in home ODI series which eventually stopped him from getting into the 11 further.. Wish he improves on that and have a wonderful career..

  • doubtingthomas on May 29, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    Rohit Sharma is out of sorts. He doesn't look like a sportsman, doesn't act like one, and sure as hell doesn't bat like one either. I'd be surprised if he comes good in a long sustainable way. Persisting with him in the line-up is a sure waste of resources and opportunities. At least Raina can field, Kohli has the aggression of a leader.. but Sharma is totally a stranger in the squad.. good for nothing. Rahane and Mukund should be given chances.

  • sadha1972 on May 29, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    i think he is better than kohli more class and a true genleman.give him the chances that raina,kohli,sharma have been given to prove themselves at intl level and he will succeed.

  • sramesh_74 on May 29, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    This is the time to push Rahane into the Indian middle order...either number 4 or 5. Both "God" and VVS are past their sell-by date.

  • on May 29, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    dravid_gravitas :: i second u in all your current and previous posts...... we both love dravid ...cheersss

  • on May 29, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    Good to see talent like Rahane coming up in this tough transition phase for the Indian Team.His T20 and ODI knocks have been good so far.Wonder why he never got a Test Match against WI and Aus.Surely he has booked a place now in the Indian batting lineup.

  • AzyS on May 29, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    any person who knows about cricketing skills will agree that rahane has got all that it takes to succeed and be a legend when he retires.. i say this not after watching his blast in IPL but after following his career for mumbai.. the way he batted and deservedly got a 50 in his first international match against england proves that this guy has class and needs just few minor adjustments to be a regular in all the formats for the indian team.. players like rahane,kohli,mandeep,rohit sharma,rahul sharma,ashwin,pujara,umesh yadav,balaji,aaron,awana,dinda should be groomed for the future..

  • muski on May 29, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Good for Indian Test Crciket. The great Indian wall is a smart man to spot this talent. As and when the God and VVS move away, Rahane and Rohit should be able to make a smooth transition in to the Indian test team.Iam looking forward to some a lovely trinity of these two and Kohli in the coming years. However, batting if far from being our worry. Where are the world class test bowlers. Maybe smart Indian bowlers can get valuable tips from guys like Wasim and Donald when they are on duty for IPL and get to know a few tricks of their trade.

  • S.Jagernath on May 29, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    He definitely has the best technique of the younger Indian batsmen.He needs practice on faster surfaces.He lacks height,which means he needs to work on combating the short ball.Mandeep Singh & Cheteshwar Pujara are the others with very good techniques,but need to practice against swing.A stint in County Cricket or even League Cricket would help.

  • Emancipator007 on May 29, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    Questions need to be asked as to why despite his assuredness at the crease being evident for so long coupled with his awesome FC average was he not blooded soon enuf in ODIs, if not Tests outright. It took me just a few overs watching online during his debut T20/ODI series against England to discern his class and Selectors/BCCI talent scouts could not detect a Mumbai (one of the mainstream cricket zones) talent! Also why did not SRT or Mumbai Indians management blood him when he was with MI.Pujara also despite his FC average and clearly sound technique was being ignored before he got his Test cap. It's a shame that Raina has played 15 plus Tests, but Pujara not being given the same long rope. Hope Rahane does not go that way. When/If SRT retires, Gambhir,Rahane,Pujara,Kohli,Rohit (too classy to be discarded without getting a test debut!), Viru will form a formidable top 6. Just get 2 awesome pace/swing bowlers and India should be ready for its overseas tours post 2012.

  • Percy_Fender on May 29, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    Ajinkya Rahane is definitely cast in the Dravid mould. He has a good enough defence at the moment but will benefit immensely if he were to practice his defensive technique more with someone like Sunil Gavaskar or Rahul Dravid both of whom will be only too happy to iron out the small flaws. The impression I got when he got out cheaply was that he did not come fully forward as Dravid does or as Gavaskar used to.Otherwise he has all the strokes and the right temperament to go right to the top. He should probably look to hit his square drives more along the ground than he did on a couple of occasions that I saw. Maybe he thought that in 20/20 it was the way to go. In which case I hope he has learnt from his mistakes. Rahane is definitely destined for bigger things. But he should keep learning from the greats who have the committment to teach others.

  • on May 29, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    Rahane should bat at no. 3 starting India's next Test. Not because of IPL 2012 but because of his talent and FC runs..

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on May 29, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    just because he doesnt play the scoop and plays in front of the wicket he doesnt become a quality player. Quality player is one who can defend well of the front foot. Against good seamers in the ipl like Ryan Harris and Dale Steyn, he was poking at balls: neither playing confidently nor defending firmly.

    MANDEEP SINGH AND ROHIT SHARMA are India's next two batting greats

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on May 29, 2012, 3:50 GMT

    Absolutely fantastic batsman. Treat to watch. I watched IPL 2012 mainly for Dravid, Ganguly, Clarke, Kallis and a few others. But within a week or so into the IPL, I was completely mesmerised by Rahane. Came to know a few months earlier that Dravid is his idol. After seeing him bat and behave, I'm not at all surprised that Dravid is his idol and I'm Rahane's fan by default. Once he starts playing for India as a regular member, my username is going to be Dravid_Rahane_Gravitas. Oh BTW, this is not an era of Kohli or Rohit etc...just give us a break. Kohli hadn't set the international stage on fire to say that there is an era called Kohli era. Cricket isn't so cheap. Not yet. Kohli had set the international stage on fire with his profanities. That's all.

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  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on May 29, 2012, 3:50 GMT

    Absolutely fantastic batsman. Treat to watch. I watched IPL 2012 mainly for Dravid, Ganguly, Clarke, Kallis and a few others. But within a week or so into the IPL, I was completely mesmerised by Rahane. Came to know a few months earlier that Dravid is his idol. After seeing him bat and behave, I'm not at all surprised that Dravid is his idol and I'm Rahane's fan by default. Once he starts playing for India as a regular member, my username is going to be Dravid_Rahane_Gravitas. Oh BTW, this is not an era of Kohli or Rohit etc...just give us a break. Kohli hadn't set the international stage on fire to say that there is an era called Kohli era. Cricket isn't so cheap. Not yet. Kohli had set the international stage on fire with his profanities. That's all.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on May 29, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    just because he doesnt play the scoop and plays in front of the wicket he doesnt become a quality player. Quality player is one who can defend well of the front foot. Against good seamers in the ipl like Ryan Harris and Dale Steyn, he was poking at balls: neither playing confidently nor defending firmly.

    MANDEEP SINGH AND ROHIT SHARMA are India's next two batting greats

  • on May 29, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    Rahane should bat at no. 3 starting India's next Test. Not because of IPL 2012 but because of his talent and FC runs..

  • Percy_Fender on May 29, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    Ajinkya Rahane is definitely cast in the Dravid mould. He has a good enough defence at the moment but will benefit immensely if he were to practice his defensive technique more with someone like Sunil Gavaskar or Rahul Dravid both of whom will be only too happy to iron out the small flaws. The impression I got when he got out cheaply was that he did not come fully forward as Dravid does or as Gavaskar used to.Otherwise he has all the strokes and the right temperament to go right to the top. He should probably look to hit his square drives more along the ground than he did on a couple of occasions that I saw. Maybe he thought that in 20/20 it was the way to go. In which case I hope he has learnt from his mistakes. Rahane is definitely destined for bigger things. But he should keep learning from the greats who have the committment to teach others.

  • Emancipator007 on May 29, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    Questions need to be asked as to why despite his assuredness at the crease being evident for so long coupled with his awesome FC average was he not blooded soon enuf in ODIs, if not Tests outright. It took me just a few overs watching online during his debut T20/ODI series against England to discern his class and Selectors/BCCI talent scouts could not detect a Mumbai (one of the mainstream cricket zones) talent! Also why did not SRT or Mumbai Indians management blood him when he was with MI.Pujara also despite his FC average and clearly sound technique was being ignored before he got his Test cap. It's a shame that Raina has played 15 plus Tests, but Pujara not being given the same long rope. Hope Rahane does not go that way. When/If SRT retires, Gambhir,Rahane,Pujara,Kohli,Rohit (too classy to be discarded without getting a test debut!), Viru will form a formidable top 6. Just get 2 awesome pace/swing bowlers and India should be ready for its overseas tours post 2012.

  • S.Jagernath on May 29, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    He definitely has the best technique of the younger Indian batsmen.He needs practice on faster surfaces.He lacks height,which means he needs to work on combating the short ball.Mandeep Singh & Cheteshwar Pujara are the others with very good techniques,but need to practice against swing.A stint in County Cricket or even League Cricket would help.

  • muski on May 29, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Good for Indian Test Crciket. The great Indian wall is a smart man to spot this talent. As and when the God and VVS move away, Rahane and Rohit should be able to make a smooth transition in to the Indian test team.Iam looking forward to some a lovely trinity of these two and Kohli in the coming years. However, batting if far from being our worry. Where are the world class test bowlers. Maybe smart Indian bowlers can get valuable tips from guys like Wasim and Donald when they are on duty for IPL and get to know a few tricks of their trade.

  • AzyS on May 29, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    any person who knows about cricketing skills will agree that rahane has got all that it takes to succeed and be a legend when he retires.. i say this not after watching his blast in IPL but after following his career for mumbai.. the way he batted and deservedly got a 50 in his first international match against england proves that this guy has class and needs just few minor adjustments to be a regular in all the formats for the indian team.. players like rahane,kohli,mandeep,rohit sharma,rahul sharma,ashwin,pujara,umesh yadav,balaji,aaron,awana,dinda should be groomed for the future..

  • on May 29, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    Good to see talent like Rahane coming up in this tough transition phase for the Indian Team.His T20 and ODI knocks have been good so far.Wonder why he never got a Test Match against WI and Aus.Surely he has booked a place now in the Indian batting lineup.

  • on May 29, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    dravid_gravitas :: i second u in all your current and previous posts...... we both love dravid ...cheersss