WTC final: Rahane returns as BCCI names squad

Riding on an impressive IPL 2023, Ajinkya Rahane makes comeback to national team for the World Test Championship final

NEW DELHI | Updated: 25 April, 2023 12:19 pm IST
Ajinkya Rahane returned to the side after an impressive show in the IPL (Photo Courtesy Twitter @ajinkyarahane88)

Ajinkya Rahane has turned heads with an impressive season so far in the Indian Premier League 2023. His performance saw him earn a recall to the Indian Test team as they gear up for the World Test Championship final against Australia.

On Tuesday, April 25, the BCCI announced Rahane’s return to the side after more than a year, as India will play Australia from June 7 to 11 at The Oval in London.

Rahane’s return also holds significance, as it was under him that India recorded a memorable Border Gavaskar series win against the mighty Australians in their den. The win at Gabba shattered Australia’s 32-year-old record of not losing on the ground.

Following a poor run of form that saw him score just 136 runs in six innings against South Africa in January last year, Rahane was subsequently dropped from the Indian Test team.

While speculations were rife about the end of Rahane’s career as India looked to infuse new blood, it seems the warhorse found his mojo back under ‘old dog’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings, a team that is often referred to as a team of old daddies for their faith in seasoned campaigners.

Rahane, who had featured in five of CSK’s seven matches this season, seems to have lapped up the opportunity with both hands. He has so far clocked 209 runs with two half-centuries. But perhaps what is more important is the fact that his strike rate of 199.04 is the highest among CSK batters. He also has 18 fours and 11 sixes to his credit.

Rohit Sharma will lead the team that will have six specialist batters, including Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, along with Sharma and Rahane. KS Bharat has been named as the lone specialist wicketkeeper.

The team will have three all-round spinners in off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.

The team will also have five pacers, including Md Shami, Umesh Yadav, Md Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat, the lone left-arm pacer.

India’s Test squad for WTC final: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, K L Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat

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