Ajinkya Rahane is turning out to be Team India's man for all seasons due to his calm and composed attitude © AFP
Ajinkya Rahane is turning out to be Team India’s man for all seasons due to his calm and composed attitude © AFP

Not concerned about the limelight, never sweats over the things being said or written about him, has the will and potential to perform in testing situations. This is Ajinkya Rahane for the cricketing world. An astute reader of the game and always eager to go that extra mile to improve his game, Rahane has all the ingredients to carry the torch of Indian cricket team’s batting order for future. He is often compared to his contemporaries and kept a way above everyone other than Virat Kohli. Reasons maybe plenty for such an observation but his composure as a player makes him polished cricketer of the current crop of players in Team India. ALSO READ: Ajinkya Rahane’s ascension as India vice-captain for West Indies tour signals shift in leadership prerequisites

In his teenage days, Rahane used to travel a long distance to come and practice. The essence of going the extra mile was realised by him since then. Many youngsters aspire of making it to the Indian team but just being a good player is not enough for that. The quality of being patient and composed is very important for a youngster to have a chance to wear the reputed blue jersey for the team. If utilised well in the game, it contributes to the development of a player. Rahane is well versed with these qualities and that makes him the player he is.

Debuting for the team against Australia in the 2013 Test series, he didn’t have a great start to his career, he also averaged a mere 25+ in ODIs and T20s for some time. He did not let his early failures affect his batting style. When the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina have been in the team for long and yet do not pounce on opportunities, the 27-year old has been consistent, especially in the longer format scoring a ton in every overseas assignment the team has gone through in the past few years. Dhawan and Raina have always succumbed to opponent teams strategies when the pressure has been applied on them while batting. On the other hand, Rahane gives the field changes a glance or two before he takes guard for every ball but seldom gets worked up because of it.

The newly appointed vice-captain of India’s Test team, Rahane, has made a mark in Test cricket and has hundreds under his belt in Lord’s, Wellington, Melbourne showing his composure and resilience. Even in the ICC tournaments, he has not been as successful as a Rohit Sharma, Dhawan or Raina, but he has held his end when the team has been in dire conditions. He has not won matches for the side in limited overs on his own but has a calm and composed head to play throughout the innings. In the ICC World Cup 2015 semi-finals against Australia, Rohit, Dhawan, Raina and Jadeja perished after starts or when the pressure was imposed on them, Rahane, though he did not play an impactful innings, he tried his level best with MS Dhoni to mend things for the side.

His cricketing shots is not only a treat to the eyes but the way he has conducted himself off an on the field is exemplary. He is not a showman like Virat Kohli and has a different way of handling himself on the field. He never shows his emotions and gets involved in sledging. He is aggressive with the bat, when required, and likes to speak with his performance and not words. No doubt, the team management has a lot of trust on him and leadership qualities in him. He is very much like Dhoni and due to these qualities; he has been rewarded with the burden of vice-captaincy in Tests. On the eve of his 28th birthday, the team expects a lot from Rahul Dravid’s protégée and he promises to deliver more often than not due to his composed head and not shying away from pressure situations.

(Aditya Sahay is a journalist with CricketCountry who is completely into sports and loves writing about cricket in general. He can be followed on Twitter at adisahay7)