WTC Final 2023: Ajinkya Rahane keeps Indian hopes alive

Ajinkya Rahane

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ajinky Rahane shined on the third day of five day World Test Championship (WTC) final at Oval in England on June 9, Thursday. He kpet alive hopes of Indians who almost give up on the first two days,  thanks to aggressive Australian battling and bowling. Millions of cricket fans in the stadium as well as back home in India celebrated his valiant fight. Rahane and Thakur make it to 260/6 at lunch

Team India endured a batting collapse in its first innings of the World Test Championship final against Australia. India lost half of their batters at Stumps, while putting only 151 on the board. No batter succeeded in breaching the fifty-run mark with Ravindra Jadeja top-scoring (48); this, however, changed in the morning session on the next day as Ajinkya Rahane, who had looked impressive even as he survived an LBW dismissal during Day 2, smashed an impressive half-century.

Rahane, who is making a comeback to the Indian Test team after over a year, displayed exemplary composure against a star-studded, high-on-confidence Australian pace attack. Even as wicketkeeper-batter KS Bharat was dismissed early in the session, Rahane continued to take calculated risks, punishing the occasional bad deliveries from Australia pacers and eventually reaching his half-century with a six over the fine leg boundary.


Gavaskar praises Rahane

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, who is on the broadcasting team during the WTC Final, heaped praise on the comeback man after his fifty. Gavaskar stated that Rahane has almost always bailed India out of trouble, and had an “assured” presence on the crease.

“Look at the hundreds he scored, they have mostly been when India were in trouble. He has always risen to the occasion; he has a sense of the occasion. He’s one of those low-profile players who won’t be thumping his chest when he gets to a half-century or a century. He just raises his bat, goes about his business quietly, but assuredly,” Gavaskar said on-air during his commentary stint on Star Sports.

Rahane made his way back into the Indian team after Shreyas Iyer – who had replaced the India senior batter at no.5 in the longest format – was ruled out due to a back injury. The 35-year-old’s place in the Indian XI was all but confirmed after KL Rahul faced a hamstring injury during the 2023 Indian Premier League season.

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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