Ajinkya Rahane showed a different side of him, slamming 61 off just 27 balls for Chennai Super Kings against Mumbai Indians in an IPL 2023 match on Saturday night at the Wankhede Stadium.
Dhoni's pep talk
The knock left the Super Kings captain MS Dhoni an impressed man. Dhoni revealed that there was a talk with Rahane about his role within the CSK establishment prior to the start of the IPL.
“We spoke right at the start and he was like what are you looking for me and I told him what I had in mind. He is not someone who will consistently hit sixes but he is very sound technically. I was very happy with the way he batted,” said Dhoni in the post-match presentation.
Rahane’s blistering innings
Rahane’s blistering innings helped CSK chase down a target of 158 with minimum fuss, and led the way to their second win of the season.Rahane too said he enjoyed the way he batted in the match.“I just got to know before the toss that I am playing. Unfortunately, Moeen was unwell. I had a good domestic season and was batting well in the nets. I was just trying to play good cricketing shots, and not slog it over. It is all about maintaining your shape. You want to prepare mentally well, as IPL is a very long tournament, and it is all about staying positive and knowing your game.
“Mahi bhai (Dhoni) and Flem (CSK coach Stephen Fleming) have given the freedom to other players. I was just told to focus on my strengths and focus on preparation. I love playing at the Wankhede, I know the ground well, even though I have not played a Test here,” said Rahane after the match.MI captain Rohit Sharma said the team needed to be more brave in their approach in the remaining matches.
“We lost our way in the middle. We did not capitalise on the start. It was a good pitch, and we were 30-40 runs short in the middle. Credit to their spinners, they bowled well, kept us under pressure and we did not respond well. We need to try different things, need to attack, need to be brave,” said Rohit.
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