Ajinkya Rahane – The Combatant
On this day ( 6 June ) in 1988 Ajinkya Rahane was born, in the country of Cricket lovers. The meaning of Ajinkya is ” Unbeatable ” & truly he is !! He came to the Indian team as a replacement of Virender Sehwag & played his first ODI vs England on Sept. 3 , 2011. He made 40 of 44 balls including 6 fours with an impressive strike rate of 90.90. He was able to show his talent in his debut match with his classical batting performance but, it took 3 years to made his first ODI century as he was in and out of the squad. His century came against the same nation with which he made his debut in International Cricket i.e. England. On the Edgbaston where ball was seaming & swinging very fast & the conditions was very helpful to England bowlers but he stood there and shows his classical touch, gentle pushes, glorious cover drive and his command on on side. He made 106 of 100 balls in which he hits 4 massive sixes and 9 gorgeous fours.
People thought he was suited only for Test Cricket and not for the game in which the game turns in an over i.e. in T-20 but he scored a ton against RCB in IPL & gave reply to them who thought he is not fit in this format. Another example of his talent is, he is the first one to score 6 fours in an over he did that in 2012 IPL edition and the bowler was S. Aravind. He made his International T-20 debut in the same tour of England in which he made his ODI debut. In that match he scored 61 in 49 deliveries and helped India to win the match. In every IPL tournament he shows his class. Recently ( in 2016 ) he was in Rising Pune Supergiants team, he scored 480 runs with an average of 43.63. In previous editions of IPL he was a team member of Mumbai Indians but due to the rat killing race to make in 11 he got very few chances to play for MI but soon later he was picked by Rajasthan Royals and he got a chance to play under Rahul Dravid and learnt lessons to polish his batting skills.
In a game where they says “Catches wins the matches ” Rahane made a world record by picking up 8 catches in a single Test Match against Sri Lanka at Galle in August 2015. In those catches he took one at gully and rest at standing at slip. He made his Test debut against Australia in 2013 at Delhi. He was picked in squad against West Indies in Nov 2011 but he was on the bench and waited for his moment to come. Who can ever forget his famous century against England at Lords !! It was truly special knock from him. He is the only fifth Indian Batsman to score century in both the innings of a Test match. It was against South Africa in Delhi. He scored 127 and 100* and helped India to win by 337 runs. The win was really by a huge margin. He was also awarded by Man of the match for that performance. I think Rahane loves to play Test Cricket away from the home than the home soil (as the stats are indicating), his average in home condition is 39.14 and average in away from the home is 46.37 !!! He played 22 Test matches in which he played 17 matches on away from the soil !!!
There is one interesting stat about Rahane is whenever he scored a ton team India either won the match or manage to keep it draw ( in Test Cricket ) this is really interesting stat ! Isn’t it ?He was awarded by CEAT Indian Cricketer of the Year in 2014-15 and he also got M A Chidambaram Trophy for best Under-19 cricketer in 2006-07 . Apart from Cricket he learn Karate as well and he also shows his caliber in that field as well. He won the Black belt in Karate. I think his secret to fitness, his stamina, his activeness on the field and determination are result of that Karate training which made him more stronger and fit.
In his personal life he is very humble, very down to earth and a shy guy ! His team mates called him Jinx !! He married to his childhood friend Radhika on 26 Sept. 2014. Rahane was from a middle class background whose parents didn’t afford a high class coaching but due to his passion, determination he reached at his goal and now making his parents life easier. I wish him a very Happy Birthday, may your smile always remain the same. Thank you Ajinkya for making us proud and giving us so many wonderful moments. You are always special to us.