Ajinkya Rahane has staged a remarkable comeback in the Indian Test team by delivering an outstanding innings of 89 runs during the first innings of the ICC World Test Championship final in 2023. Rahane played a vital role in a substantial 109-run partnership with Shardul Thakur for the seventh wicket, enabling India to avoid the follow-on.
Ricky Ponting, the former captain of Australia, commented on Rahane’s performance, acknowledging that the batsman has made the most of his opportunity and now has a tremendous opportunity to rejuvenate his Test career.
Ricky Ponting on Ajinkya Rahane
“He has made the most of his opportunity and that is all you can do. I think there are two more Test matches in the West Indies after this before Rahul and Iyer are back, so he has got a real opportunity to prolong his Test career for another couple of years,” Ponting said.
Ajinkya Rahane received a selection in the Indian Test team based on his exceptional displays in the IPL 2023 and Ranji Trophy. Despite being 35 years old and having been dropped from the team due to a series of poor scores after his last Test match against South Africa in January 2023, Rahane showcased an impressive form in the IPL. He exhibited a remarkable strike rate of 172.48 and accumulated 326 runs in the tournament. Regarding his comeback, Ricky Ponting expressed his astonishment at how Rahane’s IPL performances played a significant role in his reselection for the Test team.
“I am really happy to see him back out there and playing and when you see him play like that (against Australia) you just wonder why he hasn’t been in this India team for the last couple of years. Isn’t it amazing now in this modern game. He probably got back into this Indian Test team on the back of some performances in the IPL, so well played to him,” he added.
Rahane earned his place in the WTC squad ahead of the injured Shreyas Iyer, who was unable to participate due to his persistent back injury. Iyer underwent surgery in April but was unable to recover in time for the important tournament.
Following the conclusion of the WTC final, India is scheduled to face West Indies in a two-match Test series in July and August. With both Iyer and KL Rahul currently undergoing rehabilitation, Rahane is poised to receive another opportunity to solidify his position in the Test team for an extended period.