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Rahane still waiting to clear the Test

Last updated on: March 11, 2013 20:00 IST

Rahane still waiting to clear the Test

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Despite being named in India's squad way back in November 2011, Ajinkya Rahane is still to play a Test. Harish Kotian is as clueless as him why he hasn't made his debut yet.

It seems a never ending wait for Ajinkya Rahane.

The 24-year-old Mumbai batsman realized a long-cherished dream when he was named in India's Test team. However, that joy of being selected was only brief, as despite making it to the Test squad way back in November 2011, for the three-Test series against the West Indies at home, he hasn't featured in a single game during those last 15 months.

After the West Indies series, he was benched for the four-match series in Australia and two Tests at home against New Zealand in August last year. Even in the England series, which India lost 1-2 at home, he never got a look in.

And the trend continued in the first two matches of the ongoing series against Australia which India won convincingly.

So, in sum, he watched 15 Tests go by while sitting in the dressing room or carrying the drinks out.


Image: Ajinkya Rahane

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Rahane's first class average is even better than Pujara's

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India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one who doesn't tinker too much with the playing eleven. Whether the team is winning or losing, he trusts his core group of players. But nothing can justify keeping the talented Rahane out of the team for so long.

This Mumbai top order batsman forced his way into the Test squad on the back of consistent performances in domestic cricket and his ability to play a long innings. His first class record is simply unmatchable: 19 centuries and 22 fifties in 60 first class matches, for a tally of 5460 runs, at an average of 62.

Believe it or not, his first class average is even better than that of run-machine Cheteshwar Pujara, who has 6277 runs in 77 matches, at an average of 60, inclusive of 20 hundreds and 22 half-centuries.


Image: Ajinkya Rahane

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Time the selectors show vision

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When he was initially selected to the Test team, Rahane was drafted as a back-up opener but hardly got a chance to play, as both Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were guaranteed starters. But late last year, before the England series, the selectors had a sudden change in heart and he was suddenly considered a middle order option following the failure of Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh at No. 6.

And, just when he looked set to make his Test debut, Dhoni took a gamble with Ravindra Jadeja at No. 6, who, it must be said, made most of the opportunity and virtually sealed his place in the team.

With Sehwag and Gambhir both being axed from the Test team, India now have a new opening pair in Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan, which will result in Rahane again going down in the pecking order.

As of now, he is completely clueless, wondering when his chance will come and where he will be asked to bat at. 

Time the selectors show vision, at least keeping the tour of South Africa later this year in mind, and give this talented right-hand batsman a chance to prove his worth at the highest level.


Image: Ajinkya Rahane

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