December 14, 2015

Rahane: India's all-conditions expert

Analysing a batsman who has adapted to various conditions and batting positions, and outclassed his peers with his consistency
57

Ajinkya Rahane has become India's most reliable batsman in recent months, and he underlined his growing pedigree with a hundred in each innings in the final Test against South Africa in Delhi. Rahane's consistency has been his hallmark and in his young Test career he already finds himself in the company of a few legends.

  • Since December 2013, Rahane's average of 47.38 is the highest for an Indian batsman
  • Rahane is one of only nine batsmen to make a hundred from four different batting positions in their first 22 Tests
  • Rahane's ten 50-plus scores in his first 16 Tests overseas places him third on the list behind Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid

Play 05:50

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vijay Kumar on December 29, 2015, 16:27 GMT

    Numbers do lie a lot. they never tell the whole story. playing with the tail enders is much different to playing as an opener. I never understood why we are so much obsessed with numbers and stats. The way some of the hundreds scored by Rahane tells about his class. At end of the day Sachin had way more in average than VVS, but the pressure in which VVS scored and Sachin should make them equals. We can never read these things with Numbers. more over Stats can lie a great deal. look at Murali and warnes tally, Murali was a sole wicket taker for Sri Lanka in his prime while Warne was one of among the greatest bowling attack. It means he still took 708 wickets in spite of heavy competition from his team mates.

  • Amit on December 17, 2015, 8:06 GMT

    No doubt, Rahane has adapted and scored in every foreign and now gone conditions. Couple of weaknesses though. Too many times he gets out in the teens after he's put in the hard work and the big hundreds are still missing. Fix this and he'll move from 'very good' to great!

  • Mukund on December 17, 2015, 1:18 GMT

    Rahane has the perfect mix of patience and aggression and paces the innings immaculately. In addition to his batting he is a brilliant catcher in the slips. He is a natural and this augurs well for India, atleast for some time. My only suggestion is that we should stop putting pressure of averages, outside and within India and other analysis on him. This will only curb his natural abilities and will force him to try different things thereby affecting his performances. We should get out of the mindset wherein individual brilliance precedes team requirements. Let us not make him another Rohit Sharma.....

  • Gokula Krishnan on December 16, 2015, 17:47 GMT

    @Mervo: You are too theoritical :)

    He is representing a Nation and one of major factors for India's performance, and still he is humble.

    How many Indian Cricketers are away from Commercials ?

    Cricketers are now celebrities, which really hurts me.

    At this period where T20 is latest sensation, still he is trying to play proper test cricket like very few people around.

    He is the only one player in the current lot, who has scored runs in swinging, seaming, bouncing, turning or a flat pitch. But notably his performance in turning tracks are not above par.

    He is one of the major reason to make Ashwin a lethal spin bowler in Indian condition.

    But all this things are hidden because of 2 facts, 1. Lack of support from Limited Overs Captain 2. Explosive batting in 20 overs game.

    Otherwise he is one of the best players in 50 over and test matches.

    He has all parameters checked to join the league of young sensation Root, Williamson and Smith.

  • Merv on December 16, 2015, 9:45 GMT

    With only 6 centuries and an average in the low 40's he has a lot more to prove. Strong technique and temperament and in 5 years time, we will know. Whether he is humble or not matters nothing to me. He is paid to play not be humble.

  • Ravi on December 16, 2015, 4:45 GMT

    In my opinion, this article has come a little too early. I'm a big fan of Rahane and I'm sure he will eventually deliver what he promises, This article has triggered comparisons with today's well established batsmen and I think Rahane has to play more cricket and display more consistency to get there. Good luck to him!

  • sam on December 16, 2015, 3:41 GMT

    @Agransh When did I bat for Steve Smith? IMO Smith doesn't register among top 5 batsman in the world (he is yet to get a big 100 on a turning track except WI or score runs on a green seamer). The top 5 test batsman IMO are ABD, Williamson, Amla (present bad form notwithstanding), Warner and Rahane in decreasing order with ABD being best and Rahane being 5th best. But once Root and Smith and Kohli master all conditions they will get there. Cook and Mathews are also in top 10 among current test batsman with Mathews with his bowling and batting is probably one of the 3 best all-round test cricketers along with Ashwin and Shakib.

  • Vinod on December 16, 2015, 1:46 GMT

    His 100 @ lords on a green wicket was oustanding...didnt get the attention it deserved.... a real good player in the making

  • Charles on December 15, 2015, 23:28 GMT

    @yoohoo. I will take his average any day. Remember there are 5 to 6 specialist batsman in a team, and if each scores a century once in a series and has an average of 47+, then that would be an excellent team, wouldn't it? Can you let me know how many other player's have that kind of statistics? A century of one in 5 innings (your statistics), is better than an average batsman I reckon. So on the other side of the coin, if you take his single digits out would that not inflate his average dramatically. You are probably under the illusion of a glass half empty/half full? When you have consistency than it is either for a short period called a purple patch, or a player is a prodigy. He is still in his early days, but I believe he has the right attitude, good technique and temperament to turn into a good player.

  • Jason on December 15, 2015, 18:37 GMT

    Seems a quietly confident chap. Hope his career signified by humility.