In a one-off, you need your most-experienced players, says Shastri on Rahane's inclusion in India's WTC final squad

In a one-off, you need your most-experienced players, says Shastri on Rahane's inclusion in India's WTC final squad

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes having an experienced campaigner like veteran batter Ajinkya Rahane in the squad for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia should come in handy, citing the need for a team to have its most experienced players in a one-off big game.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, April 28, 2023, 06:00 PM IST
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Ravi Shastri, the former head coach of the Indian cricket team, has expressed his belief that the inclusion of Ajinkya Rahane in the Indian squad for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia will be advantageous. He emphasised the importance of having experienced players in a high-stakes game, such as the WTC final, and Rahane's extensive experience can aid the team.

Rahane's overseas experience is the talking point

The veteran batter, was recently named in India's Test squad for the WTC final, which will be held from June 7-11 at The Oval in London. Although he hasn't played a Test match for India since January 2022, he led the team to a remarkable 2-1 Border-Gavaskar Trophy victory in Australia. Despite a dip in form, he has been included in the squad owing to his experience and leadership qualities.

"Absolutely, it's a one-off big game, like the Super Bowl, and you need your experienced player. Don't forget that just two-and-a-half years ago, the man won a Test series in Australia. He was the captain when Virat (Kohli) went (on paternity leave) and did a sterling job."

"People forget that hundred at the MCG, the way he played, and the fact that he's gone back to the grind. You saw what it did with Pujara, he went back to the grind playing domestic cricket, playing county cricket, just got the number of runs under his belt, then came back into Test cricket and performed. It's the same thing with Rahane, let's hope that experience comes in handy," Shastri was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo on the Ravi & Raunak Show.

Going back to the grind

Rahane had to recover from a hamstring injury sustained during IPL 2022 and then go back to the grind of domestic cricket to earn his spot back in the Test team. Starting with the Duleep Trophy in September 2022, Rahane made 250 runs in five innings, including an unbeaten 207 for West Zone.

In the 2022–23 Ranji Trophy, Rahane was Mumbai's leading run-scorer with 634 runs from seven matches at an average of 57.64, including smashing a double-century against Hyderabad, and 191 against Assam.

In IPL 2023, Rahane has been in stupendous form for the Chennai Super Kings, aggregating 224 runs in six innings, while averaging 44.8 and at a jaw-dropping strike rate of 189.3, where he's looked in great touch with his timing and placement of shots.

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