India middle-order batter Ajinkya Rahane was dubbed a “fraud” after his grand comeback to Team India’s Test squad for the World Test Championship final against Australia in England in June.

Though Ajinkya Rahane’s return was welcomed by former cricketers and a few fans praising the Indian selectors for their decision to include him in the side for the crucial encounter against the Pat Cummins-led team, some were left unimpressed by the development.

Ripping into the BCCI for giving Ajinkya Rahane another opportunity, a few Team India supporters pointed out that his IPL form shouldn’t have been the basis of his selection in the Test team.


Ajinkya Rahane had been out of the Indian Cricket Team since January 2022 after a string of poor scores, including his last series against South Africa. The Indian selectors eventually dropped him from the series against Sri Lanka at home in February.

However, a consistent run with the bat in the domestic circuit followed by a series of sensational performances for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) ensured Ajinkya Rahane’s comeback to the national set-up as the selectors were mightily impressed by his composure and ability to deliver the goods under pressure.

In the ongoing IPL, Ajinkya Rahane has been MS Dhoni’s go-to-man, with the 34-year-old continuously producing some of his most memorable batting displays when it mattered.

In a recent contest against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the iconic Eden Gardens, he slammed a whirlwind 29-ball 71 to guide CSK to a score of 235 before leading the visitors to a 49-run victory over the hosts. His knock included five massive sixes and six crisp boundaries.

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In addition to Ajinkya Rahane’s form, luck has also gone by his side. With Shreyas Iyer out of action due to a back injury, the Mumbai resident got another shot at redemption as the Indian selectors recalled Ajinkya Rahane due to his record in England, where he has played some of his best Test knocks.

Ajinkya Rahane’s return to the India Test squad is all the more surprising given that he was excluded from the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) central contract list of players for the 2023-24 season last month. In the season earlier, he was a contracted player, with the BCCI handing him a Grade B contract.

Ajinkya Rahane was the senior pro who was one of the key players for Mumbai during the 2022-23 Ranji season. In the top domestic competition, the former India vice-captain made 634 runs in 11 innings, including two centuries at an average of 57.63.

“I don’t want to prove anything to anyone. I think my competition is with myself. If I stick to that, things will fall into place. I don’t want to run after anything… just want to back my game,” Rahane had said in response to a question about his return to the Indian side.

Among the ones supporting Ajinkya Rahane was Sunil Gavaskar.

“I don’t want to prove anything to anyone. I think my competition is with myself. If I stick to that, things will fall into place. I don’t want to run after anything… just want to back my game,” Rahane had said in response to a question about his return to the Indian side.

“That was the only change needed for the Indian side. They needed a replacement for Shreyas Iyer. Ajinkya Rahane finds himself in the WTC squad not because of his current IPL form, mind you, he was in a pretty decent form in the Ranji Trophy. He did very well for Mumbai in the domestic season. The question now is in the final eleven, who’s going to be playing? Whether it will be KS Bharat the wicket-keeper or KL Rahul. We’ll just have to wait and see,” Sunil Gavaskar told Star Sports.

“Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill will be my opening picks, Cheteshwar Pujara at three, Virat Kohli at four, Ajinkya Rahane at five, KL Rahul at six who’ll keep the wickets as well. Then there will be Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, followed by Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Shami and Mohd Siraj,” Sunil Gavaskar concluded.

Meanwhile, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh took a swipe at the national selectors after they dropped the explosive Suryakumar Yadav and included the veteran Ajinkya Rahane in the Rohit Sharma-led squad announced to face Australia in the ICC World Test Championship final at the Kennington Oval in London in England in June.

It would be India’s second consecutive title clash in the prestigious competition after losing the maiden edition to New Zealand in 2021.

“He has captained India in so many matches and is a brilliant player a well. He has a great technique. I feel the decision has been taken keeping in mind his present form and hence has been recalled because Shreyas Iyer is still not part of the team. And with Iyer absent, it serves an opportunity to Rahane and it’s a big match. He is a big player as well and I hope he gives that big performance to justify the selection. I support this selection 100 per cent and I feel it is a great decision. There was actually no other solution other than this,” Harbhajan Singh said on his YouTube channel.

On the other hand, in his first reaction to the news, Ajinkya Rahane shared the mantra of his recent success.

“In my career as a professional cricketer, I have realized that the journey is not always smooth sailing. There are moments when things don’t go as planned, and it becomes tempting to get bogged down by the result. However, I have learned that it is essential to stick to the process and not let the outcome affect our focus. As I look back on my career, I realize that the moments when I stuck to the process, despite the unfavorable result, were the ones that taught me the most. These are the moments that helped me grow as a person and as a cricketer. I realized that the times when I let the result dictate my approach were not my finest moments,” the 34-year-old cricketer said on LinkedIn.

“Sticking to the process is not only essential in cricket but in any field that demands excellence. It helps us focus on the things that we can control and take ownership of our actions. When we focus on the process, we don’t get overwhelmed by the outcome, and it keeps us motivated to keep working towards our goals.”

“As someone who has been in the spotlight for several years, I know that the expectations can be overwhelming. However, I have learned to not let the pressure get to me and focus on the things that I can control. It is the same advice that I would give to anyone who is looking to advance in their field. So, let us all focus on the process and trust in our abilities. The results will follow, but until then, let us keep working hard and keep pushing ourselves towards excellence,” Ajinkya Rahane signed off.