Ajinkya Rahane Reveals Why Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara And His Average Dropped In Test Cricket

Hours after beating a brilliant double century for Mumbai in the Elite Group B match against Hyderabad during the ongoing 2022-23 Ranji Trophy, Ajinkya Rahane said he is still hoping for a comeback to the national red ball side.

Just two years ago, Rahane fronted Indian cricket after leading India to a historic 2-1 Test series victory in Australia. But from then came Rahane’s bad spell as he scored just three fifties in 13 Tests before losing his place in the Indian squad.

But in the ongoing domestic season, Rahane has been dropping hints about his form coming back. For his double ton in the Ranji Trophy yesterday, the Mumbaikar had also hit a double hundred in the Duleep Trophy while representing West Zone in the match against North Zone.

Rahane led the West Zone to the Duleep Trophy title and followed it up by helping Mumbai clinch their first ever Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He was also Mumbai’s second highest scorer in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with 263 runs.

“One thing is for sure, I will never give up. For me it is the dream to still play for India. said Rahane after scoring 204, strung with 26 fours and three sixes against Hyderabad, as quoted by Hindustan Times.

Rahane also talked about how along with him, Virat Kohlis and Cheteshwar Pujara‘s forms taken in the longest format. He noted that the averages of those batting at numbers 3, 4 and 5 – Pujara, Kohli and himself – have dropped due to the type of wickets prepared in India at the time.

Notably, until Australia’s 2020–21 Test series, Pujara averaged 47.74, but has since fallen to 31.17 in 16 matches that followed. Similarly, Kohli’s average fell from 53.41 in 16 matches to 28.74, and Rahane’s average plummeted from 42.58 in 13 tests to just 20.

“When we look at the averages, they’re down because of the wickets, because as a batsman it’s always challenging. For openers, it’s easy, especially in India, when the ball is hard. When batters get out, we always think about what mistakes they commit. But then No. 3-4-5 – Pujara, Virat and me…all our averages are down. So I don’t think I committed mistakes. Yes, as a player I always focus on where we can improve, but every time we don’t make mistakes, sometimes the wickets are like this… it’s not an excuse, but that’s the reality. Everyone was watching so they know what kind of wickets are prepared in India,” added Rahane.

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