Published On: Wed, Mar 29th, 2017
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Rahane has been one of India’s most dependable batsmen in recent times

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Ajinkya Rahane has been one of India’s most dependable batsmen in recent times, especially in overseas conditions where others have failed to deliver.

However, his performance at home has not been up to the mark when compared to his away numbers. In 16 matches, Rahane has scored 954 runs at an average of 38.15, including three hundreds and as many fifties.

Rahane is a proven performer abroad where he has scored 1588 runs in 21 matches at an average of 51.22, including five hundreds and eight fifties.

One had expected that Rahane would improve his stats at home in the marathon season which will end after the ongoing fourth Test against Australia in Dharamsala.

However, he failed to sustain the momentum in the following series against England where he managed only 63 runs in the first three Tests before being ruled out of the last two matches with a finger injury.

Rahane started India’s home season of 13 Tests with a bang against New Zealand where he scored 347 runs in three matches, including a century and a fifty.

He returned to the team in the one-off Test against Bangladesh and scored 82 in the first innings and 28 in the second as India thrashed their neighbours comprehensively.

But against Australia, Rahane has again been found struggling to make runs. He has so far managed to score just 160 runs with an average of 26.66, including a half-century.

Chasing Australia’s first innings total of 300 runs, India were at 157/2 on Day 2, and with the dependable Cheteshwar Pujara and Rahane looking set in the middle. India appeared to have the upper hand before Nathan Lyon (4/67) intervened after tea.

In the series-deciding fourth Test against the Aussies, Rahane was handed the additional responsibility of captaining the side after Virat Kohli was ruled out following a shoulder injury.

In the first over of the final session, Lyon sent back Pujara for 57 and went on to dismiss Karun Nair, Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin to deflate the hosts.

Rahane found himself in the line of fire and the otherwise dependable batsman made things difficult for himself by trying to pull and hook his way out of trouble. He was dismissed for 46.

“Ajinkya Rahane is scratchy. It is not the Rahane we have seen over a long period of time. Think about the Rahane at Lord’s (2013) where it was seaming, decking, bouncing and he just batted as if it was a different track.

Reflecting on Rahane’s inconsistent form, former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Sunday told India Today that the Mumbaikar has been scratchy and down on confidence.

“Imagine his hundreds in Australia. He is just a bit out of the place at the moment, maybe mentally… the confidence has gone down a bit because he hasn’t had a good series against England,” Ganguly told India Today. Ganguly said Rahane will probably have to sit down and relax in order to get his mind back on track.

“He hasn’t had a good series so far by his standards. So, his confidence level is down a bit and you can see that in his batting. I think it is not the Rahane but he is surviving, he is trying hard, he is competing…typical Mumbai¬†khadoosness¬†as they say. But we have seen a better Rahane. And I think once this series finishes, he will probably will have to sit down and find a way to relax and get his mind back on track,” he added.

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