Most experts agree that Ajinkya Rahane will be a star for India. With the likes of Dravid and Laxman having retired, and Tendulkar getting ever closer, the future of Indian cricket lies with players such as Rahane. The talented top-order batsman has dominated the first-class scene in India, and many fans believe it’s a case of when, not if, he makes the move up to Test cricket.
A quick glance at his first-class statistics tells you that Rahane is capable of replacing the batsmen of India’s Golden Era. At just 24, Rahane has already scored 5460 runs at a staggering average of 62.04. In his second season at Mumbai, Rahane amassed 1089 runs. In doing so, he became just the 11th Indian player to score 1000 runs in a year. With 19 centuries to his name already, the prodigy is well on his way to greatness.
Many people are surprised by the fact he hasn’t played a Test for India yet. Rahane was in the touring party that was humbled 4-0 by Australia in 2011/12. Despite getting trounced, Indian selectors refused to use him. Twelve months later, and with India battling against England, selectors again opted against giving Rahane a go in the Test side. Surely his chance is imminent.
Perhaps it is his limited-overs career that is holding him back, as Rahane has failed to fire in his flourishing career. He averages around 25 in both ODI and T20 cricket, and struggled for form in recent series against England and Pakistan.
In a strange twist of fate, 13 of Rahane’s 16 appearances have come against England in ODI cricket. He has passed 40 on five occasions, including a personal best 91 in Mohali back in 2011. His T20 career has also seen him succeed against England, where he belted 61 on debut at Old Trafford in 2011.
Rahane has performed well in the IPL for the Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians. The 2012 season was a highlight, as Rahane opened the campaign with a robust 98. His 103 against Bangalore later in the tournament signalled him as a threat in T20 cricket, and enhanced his reputation as a future star of Indian cricket.