India in South Africa 2013-14 November 26, 2013

Rahane gearing up to grab opportunity


The morning after Sachin Tendulkar's farewell Test ended at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Ajinkya Rahane arrived at the Mumbai Cricket Association's facility at Bandra-Kurla Complex, and began working long hours in the nets with former Mumbai coach Pravin Amre to prepare for the upcoming tour of South Africa.

"I've been practising with Amre sir and playing the short balls for the last nine-ten days with a wet rubber ball and plastic ball. I am sure that will help me a lot." Rahane told reporters at the Wankhede Stadium, a day after he was named in India's squad for the Test and ODI series in South Africa.

Despite being a regular in India's squad for more than two years, Rahane has rarely featured in the XI. However, Rahane is now believed to be the frontrunner to fill up the spot vacated by Tendulkar in the Test team.

"We will obviously miss Sachin a lot. Someone like Sachin has not only been a part of the Indian team for almost 24 years but has also carried the burden of all the expectations on his shoulders. We all will definitely miss him. At the same time, it's an opportunity for some of us, especially myself. But I don't want to be bogged down by the pressure. I just want to enjoy the moment and enjoy my opportunity."

Rahane's inclusion in the ODI squad came as a surprise to many and it indicated that he wouldn't be tagged as a Test specialist. "Having been selected for the ODIs as well, I am really happy for myself," he said. "I did well in the last CLT20 and I am really confident and looking forward to the series."

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 3, 2013, 3:11 GMT

    Abhishek Nayar could have made a good alrounder from long term perspective. Having 5 tests in England, World cup in Australia, you need one medium pace bowling option with batting ability. Off course, Irfan is a first choice option but as usual unavailable due to injuries.

  • Sai on December 1, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    Rahane has been the most unfortunate player in India like Rohit has been the most fortunate player. I hope he gets his chance, just unlucky that he got only one chance and was a bit nervous but I'm sure he'll prove himself in SA.

  • john on November 29, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    Sandt -1, Dhawan 2, Vijay 3, Pujara 4, Kohli 5, Rohit 6,Rahane 7, Dhoni 8, Ashwin 9, Umesh 10, Zaheer 11, Shami Personally i would have .1.Dhawan, 2.Vijay, 3.Pujara, 4.Rohit, 5.Kohli, 6. Rahane, 7. Dhoni, 8. Ashwin, 9. Umesh, 10. B. Kumar, 11.Shami. For me Rohit is a much better batsmen at test cricket then Kohli, Kohli is very overrated, he is a good one day batsmen but at test cricket an average of 40 is very average, a good test batsmen should at least have average above 45 and a great batsmen over 50. Also Rohit has only played 2 test but scored 177 and 113 no so he is the man in the no.4 spot vacated by Tendulkar if Indiia use Kohli he will flop just a run of the mill test batsmen on bouncy pitches in SA, England and Australia, in more then 20 tests yet to score more then 150 in an away test by Kohli,says it all.

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    Rahane is a very solid player and he's very good of the front foot and also at the back foot.Rahane will come handy for India specially in test because he has a solid technique and far more convincing than Rayudu.But the only thing he needs to work on is to leave deliveries outside the off-stump because they will be in plenty with the likes of Steyn,Morkel and Philander...

  • bharat on November 29, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    murali vijay is onnna be complete flop in front of steyn & Co...should have considered gambhir or his place...quality spinner lacking..this tour could have been a big testing time 4 new al rounders and batsman from domestic for 2015

  • Srinivas on November 29, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    Steyn is too good with the length deliveries. Rahane should watchout for those notorious out-swingers and not just short-pitch deliveries.

  • Android on November 28, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    Will Rahane got this ...

  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    he may not be in final 11 bcz dhoni like to take jadeja

  • Sachin on November 28, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    Rahane didn't show much promise in home tests against Australia & England. I believe he may not be too successful batting with the lower order & tail and can be tried at No.4. But given how pivotal No.4 position is, he will end up batting at No.6 or 7. He needs to have a good knock, a confident 40 in first inning will do a lot good to him.

  • Venkat on November 28, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    We are sorely missing an all rounder that is a pace bowler for overseas trips. This will allow for 4 pace bowlers as they may be needed for some pitches on overseas tours. As our current all rounders are spinners, Dhoni will likely elect to go with 3 pace bowlers, Ashwin, and 6 specialist batsmen for the first test in SA. So Rahane may very well get to bat in SA! I hope Rohit is given the coveted No. 4 spot as he will then have time to play long innings and more flexibility. One of the reasons is our tail enders can find it difficult to bat much on the SA pitches which are very different from what they are used to, especially with Bhuvi and Shami being rookies and Umesh being a No. 11. So our tail will look long it seems. Rohit had been waiting in the wings much longer than Rahane and with his ability to tackle pace and bounce he looks a good choice. Rohit hopefully will be given either the No.4 or the No.5 slot. Rahane hopefully will get a chance at No. 6. All the best Rahane!

  • No featured comments at the moment.