File image of Ravi Shastri© BCCI
Senior batter Ajinkya Rahane, who has been sidelined by the national selectors for quite some time now, roared back to form for Chennai Super Kings after he smashed a fiery half-century against Mumbai Indians. It was followed by a quick 31-run knock off just 19 balls against Rajasthan Royals, where CSK faced a defeat by three runs on the last ball. Rahane has been making headlines due to his brilliant short selection and fiery batting performances. Recently, former India head coach Ravi Shastri praised the 34-year-old batter, reminiscing about his days of working with Rahane during India’s 2-1 triumph over Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2021.
Rahane was appointed the skipper of Team India, which was squaring off against Australia in the four-match Test series in 2021, as the regular captain Virat Kohli had to leave the tour midway due to family reasons.
“I loved Ajinkya Rahane’s innings. He was our captain in Australia, where I saw one of the greatest overseas hundreds by an Indian player. That will go right up with the very best, simply because of where India were at the start of the innings. He had taken over as captain, we were 36 all-out. On Boxing Day , to play like that, was fantastic,” Shastri told ESPN Cricinfo.
“The timing, it was the purity of the innings was a treat to the eyes (against MI). Lovely shots, I’m glad for him. He’s such a team man. He’s captained India, whichever franchise or team he plays for, he might not be captain but you can be rest assured, you won’t get a better team man. Even if it comes to carrying water, or in dressing room, helping out someone. He’s a top-class example of the way the game should be played,” he added.
Talking about the match against RR, MS Dhoni gave a glimpse of the good old days of thrilling finishes but unheralded Rajasthan Royals seamer Sandeep Sharma nailed a couple of perfect block-hole deliveries to earn a three-run victory for his side over Chennai Super Kings.
Chasing a target of 176, Dhoni (32 off 17 balls) and Ravindra Jadeja (25 off 15 balls), veterans of many such tantalising finishes were on course as 21 was needed off the last over.
CSK’s final score was 172 for 6 as Dhoni didn’t end his 200th game for CSK in a manner he would have liked in his spiritual home with 30,000 plus spectators rooting for him.
Punjab seamer Sandeep, who played a couple of games for India eight years back, seemed to lose his nerve as he bowled a couple of wides and then Dhoni whipped him over square leg and mid-wicket for a couple of sixes.
Needing 6 off the last two deliveries, the medium pacer got a wide yorker to Jadeja and then a perfect block-hole ball to Dhoni as it fetched a couple of singles.
(With PTI Inputs)
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News Source: https://sports.ndtv.com/ipl-2023/wont-get-a-better-team-man-ex-india-head-coach-praises-ajinkya-rahane-3944575/amp/1