Mumbai-batter Ajinkya Rahane has been named in the 15-member squad for the World Test Championship final against Australia set to be played at The Oval from June 7. The right-hander who was dropped from the Test squad back in January 2022 has been recalled following an amazing performance for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.
Rahane topped the run charts for Mumbai in a mostly forgettable Ranji Trophy 2022-23 campaign, his 634 runs at 57.63 including two centuries not enough for his side to make it to the knockouts. Playing for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, however, Rahane found a new tempo to his innings and at the time of this squad announcement, he had blitzed 209 runs from five innings at a strike-rate of 199.04.
Ajinkya Rahane will be responsible to handle the middle order duties, which seem a bit weak due to the absence of Test regulars Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer.
Team India Squad for World Test Championship final: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat
The news of Rahane’s comeback to the Test team was widely appreciated by cricket fans and pundits. Here are a few reactions by the netizens:
Other IPL batsmen get orange cap for their performance. Rahane got blue cap pic.twitter.com/nYu5ayLZvB
— Sagar (@sagarcasm) April 25, 2023
I had been thinking, and chatting to people, about India’s squad for the WTC Final. And whichever way I looked at it, I was zeroing in on this team. That suggests there weren’t too many choices. The only real talking point is the return of Rahane. Looks in good form, not slogging…
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 25, 2023
Ajinkya Rahane makes his return to the India team after 17 long months.
The comeback man – Rahane! pic.twitter.com/uw9lJMj5E4
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) April 25, 2023
Ajinkya Rahane makes a comeback as India name squad for the World Test Championship Final.#WTC23 | Details 👉 https://t.co/i3bWXIM2ze pic.twitter.com/rT6DoqIJwk
— ICC (@ICC) April 25, 2023