Home > Features >

Ajinkya Rahane deserves to be given a long rope to establish himself in the Indian side

Ajinkya Rahane deserves to be given a long rope to establish himself in the Indian side

Following an impressive start to his international career, Ajinkya Rahane was reduced to a makeshift option drafted in inconsequential games in a series and then benched thereafter. Such treatment could easily dent any player s confidence as a he would believe that every opportunity was his last to impress © Getty Images

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Have the inconsistent selection policies dented the confidence of Ajinkya Rahane? The young batsman had been a perennial benchwarmer for over 12 months until Virender Sehwag’s axing from the One-Day International squad (ODI) allowed him a longer stint. However, after a promising start at Rajkot in the ongoing series against England, Rahane has been bowled cheaply in two consecutive games, mounting the pressure on him to perform.

Rahane is one player who certainly deserves a long rope. Following an impressive start to his international career, he was reduced to a makeshift option – drafted in inconsequential games in a series and then benched thereafter. Such treatment could easily dent any player’s confidence as he would believe that every opportunity was his last to impress. On the other hand, he might also assume that a good performance may not be enough to hold on to a spot.

During the stormy tour to England in 2011, Rahane was one of the few positives to emerge as he came into the one-day series. He looked a part of the highest level and wasn’t overawed by the conditions or the situation. The team itself was struggling, but here was a young man who fearlessly took on the bowlers, presenting hope for a better tomorrow. A few months down the line – during England’s visit to India – he reassured the selectors with another encouraging display. However, the five wise men and the think-tank had other ideas.

When the West Indies arrived in late 2011 for an ODI series, Rahane found himself sitting out. Consider this, his last three scores prior to that series read 91, 20 and 42. He had to make way for Sehwag who was coming into the one-day squad after quite some time. The opportunity did come Rahane’s way though – in the final game of the series – after India had sealed the contest. What happened was anti-climactic as he was dismissed for naught.

Then came the ultimate game of fate. Manoj Tiwary scored a maiden ton in that game against the West Indies at Chennai and won a berth for the tri-series in Australia. Poor Rahane lost out as Sachin Tendulkar returned to the side. What this said was that a lot of importance was given to that one single game in Chennai and that some spots were unquestionable. Tiwary wasn’t lucky either as he had to wait for months for his next game.

To some extent, it was almost as if the two men shared their destiny. Both Rahane and Tiwary got their next chances in the ODI series against Sri Lanka. While Tiwary went on to have a good time, Rahane got a solitary outing – that too in a dead rubber. The Mumbai batsman’s next match was also an inconsequential encounter – against Pakistan at Delhi.

With such opportunities coming few and far in between, it is clear that Rahane has been unsettled. In his last six ODIs, he has scored in the double figures only once and that shows that the sporadic opportunities did him no good.

To come good, Rahane needs time and a long run in the side. He might take time to recover, but it is important to invest in him with an eye for the future on a batsman whose talent is never in doubt.

The Indian selectors are known to commit inexplicable gaffes. Perhaps it is time some sanity creeps in. Is that asking too much?

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nishad_44)

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Photos

Australia vs Zimbabwe, ODI tri-series at Harare

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Zimbabwe’s 12 most memorable victories in international cricket

Zimbabwe vs Australia, 4th ODI: Highlights

Elton Chigumbura-Prosper Utseya partnership takes Zimbabwe to historic win over Australia

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

Elton Chigumbura: My role was to support Prosper Utseya

Australia missed Steven Smith during Zimbabwe clash: Michael Clarke

India tour of England 2014: Ajinka Rahane comes out in support of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli

Darren Lehmann embarrassed after Australia’s humiliating loss against Zimbabwe

India vs England 2014, 4th ODI at Edgbaston Preview: MS Dhoni’s men aim to seal series victory

Should Michael Clarke cut down on playing time ahead of ICC World Cup 2015?

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Zimbabwe’s 12 most memorable victories in international cricket

Zimbabwe’s moment of glory

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

667 Posts | 6 Fans

10 Most Unbeatable Records in Cricket

When Deepika Padukone, Shriya Saran, Nargis Fakhri went nude…

Shraddha Kapoor rocks earcuffs best, say fans!

TEOCO sees opportunity from telecom space in India

B-Town congratulates Abishek Bachchan post kabaddi team’s win

What happens inside your brain while watching movies

Soon, Google Glass app to reveal age

Motorola Moto X+1 alleged live photos leaked ahead of September 4 launch

Barclays Premier League 2014-15: Liverpool have reignited last season’s spark claims Brendan Rodgers

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here