Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni observes that talented Mumbai batsman Ajinkya Rahane is one player who has improved many folds in recent times and is ready to shoulder any responsibility for the team’s cause.
Dhoni is equally impressed by his 60-ball-79 stint against South Africa in the final context of the match as much as he has appreciates Shikhar Dhawan’s explosive century.
It is worthwhile to highlight that Rahane is one privileged to have scored a Test century each in Wellington, Lord’s and Melbourne which is evidence of his class and it is really heartening to note that MS Dhoni has acknowledged him to be a fast emerging into a force in limited overs format as well. Giving due weightage to his calibre, Dhoni said, “Well, there has been improvement, irrespective of the format. In Twenty20, ODIs or as a Test player, he (Rahane) has really improved”.
Dhoni also underlined the biggest advantage of Rahane, that is his flexibility and adaptability to new ideas. Praising this Dhoni said, “Rahane is definitely one of the individuals, who is not really rigid. He is quite open to ideas.”
Dhoni also appreciated the fact that Rahane will always come up with a feedback after he has tried executing a new strategy or idea.
Dhoni said, “Once he tries out a new idea, he gives you a good response as to whether it’s working or not working for him. Also he’s one of the fittest guys. You see him on the field, he’s very quick, and his intensity actually never drops right from the first over until the 90th over. If you see a Test match, which to me is what fitness is all about”.
Dhoni , while underlining Rahane’s excellent fielding capabilities, added, “He’s not someone, who owns a particular (fielding) position. In a sense, he’s not somebody, who wants to only field in cover position. Wherever, there is opportunity, he’s willing to go there. Whether it is at boundary line, covers or leg slip, anywhere, so it becomes slightly easy for a captain. The strength in his (Rahane’s) batting is the gift of timing and his ability to exploit gaps in the field to an extent. It’s really good to see him get the kind of runs. More importantly, how he has been getting those runs”.
Dhoni defined Rahane as an introvert, who normally confines to himself. He concluded, “If you normally ask him to do something, he would simply nod and say yes”.
Let us hope that Rahane will play a long term pivotal role in days to come.