Analysis: India vs West Indies 2017 and why Rahane is the perfect batsman to have in the ODI side!


A much needed change from the highly controversial Kumble-Kohli spat, the series against the windies in West Indies has finally begun and there are definitely a lot of positives to take out from it. The 1st ODI of the 5match series was abandoned due to rain but even in that match there were a few positives.


Firstly: Dhawan continued his purple patch from the champions trophy to score a solid 92ball 87 & finally justifying his place after 2-3 years of long-run given by the BCCI. Dhawan with a fantastic run-scoring spree since last 10-15 ODI’s has certainly sealed his spot for the next 2years! On the other hand spinner Kuldeep Yadav made his ODI debut and Ajinkya Rahane smashed his 17th fifty in a sort of a comeback.


While: Rahane on the other hand was given a chance to comeback after a long time as Rohit Sharma was not playing. Rahane chipped in with a yet another classy 78ball 62. But sometimes, we do feel that Rahane suffers due to Rohit Sharma since the past few years similarly like how Dinesh Karthik & Parthiv Patel have suffered because of Dhoni (i.e lack of chances to play, {also not denying the fact that Dhoni was the best}) Rahane despite being a solid batsman with the right amount of temperament has not been given adequate number of matches to play by the BCCI. Yuvraj Singh averaged only 29 in his first 85 ODI’s. Even Kohli & Rohit Sharma averaged only in their lower 30’s in the first 35 to 50 ODI’s but that doesn’t mean the player is average in terms of their talent.  In fact Kohli only had 4 hundreds & averaged 39 in his 1st 18 tests but the difference between Rahane and others was the ample of chances given to them. Rahane deserves the same amount of long run just like Kohli & Sharma to prove that he is way better than his batting average of 32 in just 72 ODI’s which he has got to play in bits & pieces for India in the last 6years. Also let’s not forget Rahane is the most flexible batsman to have in ODI’s as he can be the ideal no.3, he can open the innings confidently and has also played in the middle order! In the 2nd ODI, another positive was Kuldeep Yadav, the 22yr old slow left-arm chinaman bowler took 3 wkts & his perfomance was a tight slap on Kohli & the selectors on why he was’nt given a chance in the Champions Trophy itself rather than giving fruitless 8 to10 overs per match to Jadeja & Ashwin on flat non-turning pitches!


Even in the 2nd ODI, Ajinkya Rahane smashed a glorious ton which was nothing short of class, temperament, timing and composure. A 104ball 103 which included 10fours & 2 sixes in all parts of the ground. Some of the straight drives and cut shots which he played, only a fool cannot decipher his class and ability with the willow. In terms of talent and class, he is no less than a Kohli or Rohit Sharma but still has not got even half of the games which these blokes have got to play over the past half decade.


And yes….we all agree cricket was never the same when the famous trio of Laxman, Dravid & Tendulkar retired from tests & ODI’s, however to replace Dravid & Laxman there were some hopes as Pujara & Kohli entered into the test mould while Ajinkya made his debut in both tests & ODI’s with some promise in 2013 & 2011 respectively.

While Pujara has stamped his place into the test team as almost a permanent fixture and so has the other players like Kohli, Rahul & Vijay but it never applies to Rahane. He has to always fight for his place just like how Laxman used to do back then! Pujara deep down also knows that he isn’t going to play much of ODI’s in his career but it’s not the same case with Rahane because he has played a lot of IPL, he has showed that he can be equally aggressive and hit the ball sweetly. However, he has been unlucky as he has never been given a lease to play consistently in ODI’s like some other blokes in the team!

We certainly wish Rahane who is almost 30 now gets 3 to 5 full years as a permanent fixture in the side & if not permanent atleast give him a continous long run of 30-35 ODI’s instead of resting and replacing him time and again. Also all the luck to the Indian team to come back home with flying colors from Windies!


Haineel Shah


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