Rahane played his first game for Chennai Super Kings on Saturday, and dazzled. It was a bolt from the blue of the way he bludgeoned the Mumbai Indians bowling. He was trending on Twitter for his power-hitting! Well, that is something new.
Rahane is known for his touch and timing. He is also known for his constructive innings and anchor roles. But what Wankhede saw on Saturday was an Ajinkya Rahane in a reincarnated avatar. It looked like a software upgrade was made which added two new features – Brutality and Fearlessness.
Yes, that was the Ajju that Mumbai witnessed and Chennai cashed in. Rahane’s blues in the IPL continued last season as he was merely below average for KKR in an underwhelming season. Hence when his name came in the auction, none bothered to raise the paddle, except Chennai Super Kings, who acquired him for mere INR 50 lakh (mere in IPL salary terms).
Rahane Retribution at Wankhede
The 34-year-old didn’t play the first two games. But against MI, skipper MS Dhoni decided to play him and got perhaps an unexpected pleasant surprise.
Rahane came into bat at no. 3 after Devon Conway was gone for a duck. And as Mumbai were sniffing for some more blood, the veteran Mumbaikar dismantled his home city’s team, which also is his former one.
Rahane smashed in UnRahanstic fashion and dismantled the MI bowlers. He timed, he powered, and he caressed the white ball as it had just one destination – that is clearing the ropes. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rahane’s partner was treated with a brilliant display as the latter scored 61 runs off 27 balls.
Fastest Fifty of IPL 2023 belongs to Ajinkya Rahane in just 19 balls. CSK CSK 🙌🔥#CSKvsMI #MIvsCSKpic.twitter.com/jvZHaGniG0
— ɅMɅN DUВΞY (@imAmanDubey) April 8, 2023
He reached his half-century in just 19 balls, which is the quickest fifty of this IPL season so far. He hit 7 fours and 3 sixes, and the inning oozed fearlessness. It will be a massive boost for Rahane and the CSK faithful.
CSK Magic Reincarnates Rahane!
Well it just seems like Chennai Super Kings just have the magic touch to snatch people from the jaws of despair and brink, and provide them a new life and a new direction, in terms of cricket.
Players like Ambati Rayudu, Robin Uthappa all have benefitted from it and now it’s Rahane’s turn. The Mumbai-born ever-smiling player had to endure some difficult period, and amid the tumultuous waves, he finally seems to have found his lifesaving jacket in the form of CSK.
MS Dhoni’s presence and credit doesn’t need any mention. The CSK skipper was ecstatic with Rahane’s batting and revealed how the batter managed to play with a different frame of mind.
Ravindra Jadeja interviews Ajinkya Rahane. pic.twitter.com/Lc70AwBTC9
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) April 9, 2023
“We spoke right at the start and he was like what are you looking for me and I told him what I had in mind. He is not someone who will consistently hit sixes but he is very sound technically,” Dhoni said.
The hand of support from Dhoni has played a big part. Clarity is something which is pivotal for a player, especially during tough periods. And as much credit Rahane deserves for his amazing transformation, CSK also share a bit of that.
Now the important thing is consistency. Rahane is not a player who will give you a strike rate of 226 every day. But consistently scoring runs and playing his part in the team will be the most important thing now as CSK will be banking on the player.
Get breaking news alerts.
You have already subscribed