Rahane returns to India Test squad for WTC final

Ajinkya Rahane was in an aggressive mood, helping India grow their lead
April 25, 2023

Ajinkya Rahane will have a second shot at WTC glory after being named in India's 15-member squad for the final against Australia from June 7-11 at The Oval. Rahane is one of six specialist batters in the squad and comes in to replace the injured Shreyas Iyer, who recently underwent back surgery.

Rahane's inclusion means there is no place for Suryakumar Yadav, who was one of the reserve batters during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at home against Australia this February-March. Suryakumar featured in just one Test of that series - Nagpur - and made 20 in India's innings victory.

Rahane's inclusion comes at a time when his IPL stocks have hit an all-time high. Playing for Chennai Super Kings, his powerplay batting and six-hitting have earned him many plaudits. In his most recent outing on Sunday night, he made a 29-ball 71 in a Player-of-the-match winning effort against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Last month, Rahane, who led India to a famous Test series win in Australia in 2020-21 was omitted from BCCI's central contracts for the current season, a demotion from the Grade B he'd been given prior to that. He last featured in a Test in January 2022, in South Africa.

Rahane's inclusion means his county championship debut with Leicestershire is likely to be pushed back after initially committing to play eight red-ball games and the entire 50-overs competition.

Rahane was a constant feature for Mumbai during the 2022-23 domestic season in which he led them to the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s title. During the Ranji Trophy, he had insisted that he wasn't giving up hopes of an India comeback and ended the season with 634 runs in 11 innings, with two hundreds and an average of 57.63.

"I don't want to prove anything to anyone," Rahane had said, when asked where he thought his career was at. "I think my competition is with myself. If I stick to that, things will fall into place. I don't want to run after anything… just want to back my game."

The only other surprise was the absence of a second frontline wicketkeeper after KS Bharat. It's likely KL Rahul will take up that role if required. Rahul had earlier lost his Test spot during the Australia Tests to Shubman Gill.

Jasprit Bumrah wasn't considered as he's recovering from back injury, with the team management keen to amp up his workload and have him fully fit in time for the 50-over World Cup this October-November.

Jaydev Unadkat, who made a Test comeback after nearly 11 years in Bangladesh last December, keeps his spot alongside Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav. Shardul Thakur, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel are the allrounders.

India squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat

Disclaimer: This news is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Cricday. Source Link