CSK cheer for Ajinkya Rahane as India depend on him in WTC 2023 final

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are cheering for their own Ajinkya Rahane in the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final. With Australia putting up 469 in the first innings, India are now struggling at 151/5. CSK shared a picture of Rahane batting in the WTC 2023 final on Day 2 and wrote: “#Whistle4Blue for a strong front today!”

Big names like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill went back to the pavilion early. Ravindra Jadeja then had a 71-run partnership with Rahane. However, as Jadeja was outsmarted by Nathan Lyon, Rahane happens to be the key player for India on the third day of the WTC 2023 final. He will have Srikar Bharat to give him company.

Rahane, on the other hand, is a Test veteran for India. With nearly 5,000 runs in Test cricket, the seasoned batter has played 82 matches for his country. The top-order Mumbai batter, however, has not scored a double ton yet. India will be hoping that Rahane chooses this match to smash a new record for himself.

Rahane’s selection in the Test squad can be attributed to the unfortunate injury of Shreyas Iyer, who established himself as a reliable number five in the format. With Iyer unavailable, the opportunity has arisen for Rahane to make his comeback to the side after an 18-month absence. This return places considerable pressure on Rahane to perform and validate his selection, as he may not receive another opportunity in the near future.

Rahane’s impressive performance in domestic cricket and a standout innings in the IPL 2023 led to his selection for the WTC final against Australia. Despite doubts about his future, Rahane showcased his skills by finishing as Mumbai’s top run-scorer in the Ranji Trophy, accumulating 634 runs in seven matches at an average of 57.63. His impactful knock of 61 runs off 27 balls for CSK against Mumbai Indians in the IPL caught the attention of selectors, ultimately earning him a place in the national team for the crucial WTC final.

“I don’t want to think about my past. I just want to start afresh and keep doing whatever I have been doing,” Rahane told BCCI.TV.

Again, India depend on the Battle-hardened player. He has to prove himself again to rescue the Indian cricket team from a really-difficult situation.

“It is difficult to be Ajinkya Rahane,” as the BBC puts it.

Who is Srikar Bharat?

Bharat, who originally hails from Andhra Pradesh, has played just four Test matches for the country. He has scored only 101 runs so far with 41 being his highest score. India are pinning a lot of hopes for Bharat if the Men in Blue have any chance of winning this Test. Bharat has to get way past his highest score and accompany Rahane to amass a big score.

The promising part is that Bharat has scored nearly 5,000 runs in First Class cricket, with his highest being 308.

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Updated: 09 Jun 2023, 02:03 PM IST

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