Ajinkya Rahane made his maiden ODI hundred against England at Edgbaston © AFP
Ajinkya Rahane made his maiden ODI hundred against England at Edgbaston © AFP

Ajinkya Rahane, going by how batsmen have evolved in game of cricket, was supposed to find it tough to get going when he became a part of the Indian ODI and T20 team in 2011. But the way, the short-man has lived up to expectations and done justice to his talent is worth acknowledging. ‘Class’ is a word that has often been linked with Rahane. Rahane who turns 28 this year has been a pillar of consistency for Indian cricket in the last few years. Although, he doesn’t bat with a high strike-rate, his contributions are often helpful for India in the middle-order, especially in the 50-over format. Let’s have a look at some of Rahane’s best ODI knocks for India. ALSO READ: Happy birthday, Ajinkya Rahane! India vice-captain in Test cricket turns 28

1. 106 against England at Edgbaston – After England were all out for just 206 in the 4th ODI against India of the 5-match series in 2014, Rahane who hadn’t scored a century in the format since his 2011 opened along with Shikhar Dhawan. With no pressure on him, Rahane seized the moment and scored a century. His innings had everything. From excellent flicks off the pads and gentle pushes through covers to a beautiful straight drive and pulls off deliveries just fraction short. He even came down the wicket to James Anderson and hit him over long on for a six. Not only that Rahane also played a perfectly timed upper cut, before he hit a double to fine leg and brought up his first hundred.

2. 111 against Sri Lanka at Cuttack – After Sri Lanka won the toss in the first match of the 5-match ODI series in November 2014, they decided to field. Out came, Rahane and Dhawan who would make the Lankan bowlers toil in the match. The duo put on a huge 231-run stand for the first wicket or India as they piled up 363 runs on the board in 50 overs. Rahane scored the 2nd century of his career, along with Dhawan who also made his hundred. Rahane also received the Player of the match award for his knock as India won comfortably by 169 runs. ALSO READ: Ajinkya Rahane: Reliving his world record 8 catches in a Test

3. 91 against England at Mohali – After England won the toss in the 3rd ODI of the 5-match series in India, 2011, they decided to bat. With 299 runs to chase to win the series in the 3rd match itself, India were off to a fine start. Parthiv Patel and Rahane had a 79 run stand before the former got out. Rahane though continued along with Gautam Gambhir as the duo took India closer. Rahane was out 9 runs short of what could have been his first century in ODI cricket. India won the match in a close finish and Rahane was adjudged Player of the match as well. ALSO READ: Where Ajinkya Rahane wins over peers

4. 89 against Australia at Brisbane – After a loss in the first ODI vs Australia, India were looking to come back in the second. On winning the toss, MS Dhoni decided to bat first. Rohit Sharma led India’s charge, as he scored a hundred. Rahane meanwhile, scored 89 off 80 balls in the middle-order to help the Indian total get to 308 in 50 overs. Australia though, chased it with an over to spare. Rahane however had hit 6 fours and 1 six in his knock.

5. 87 against South Africa at Mumbai – With the series at stake India had to outperform South Africa in the 5th ODI at Mumbai. But what happened was a completely different. South Africa batted India out of the game. They scored 438 after winning the toss and batting. Hundreds from Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villers demoralised India. They had a mountain to climb and Rohit Sharma’s and Virat Kohli’s wickets were big blows for them. Rahane alongside Dhawan was at his elegant best. Not only elegant, but knowing the task at hand, Rahane even had a blend of explosiveness to his batting that day. He looked fierce. It was almost as if he was angry. Although, India ended up losing the match by 214 runs.

(Karan Dewan, a reporter with CricketCountry, loves following and playing sports. He is a Team India fan and loves winning. Follow him on his twitter handle @karan13dewan)