For Rahane, it’s all about taking chances

Ajinkya Rahane flourished for Rajasthan Royals, especially under Shane Watson and Rahul Dravid and the way he went after the Mumbai Indians bowlers in the IPL10 match at the MCA International Cricket Stadium on Thursday, showed his fearless approach in the Twenty20 format of the game.

Ajinkya Rahane on way to his half-century against Mumbai Indians in Pune on Thursday.   -  PTI

Ajinkya Rahane flourished for Rajasthan Royals, especially under Shane Watson and Rahul Dravid and the way he went after the Mumbai Indians bowlers in the IPL10 match at the MCA International Cricket Stadium on Thursday, showed his fearless approach in the Twenty20 format of the game. Promoted as India vice-captain by the selection committee, headed by M.S.K.Prasad, and who led India to a fine win against Australia in the fourth Test at Dharamsala, emphasised the necessity for batsmen to ‘take chances’ if the target is a little high at nine plus an over.

Rahane gave a bright start to Rising Pune Supergiant’s chase of MI’s 184 and paved the way for his team’s win against a big and popular team in the league. “When you are chasing a target of 180-190, it’s important to maintain the momentum. I knew I was batting well and timing the ball well.I took my chances. It was also important to rotate the strike and hit a four or six in an over,’’ said Rahane before Nitish Rana stunned the RPS batsman and his team by plucking a fine two handed catch a few metres inside the square leg fence.

The RPS captain Steve Smith—dropped on 36 by Rana—made the most of the start given by Rahane and in the end he finished the match in style, powering two sixes off Kieron Pollard. Here also Smith—after his team had scored a mere three runs of the 40th over of the match when 13 were needed for a win—took his chances with the objective of yielding maximum results; he had to without which RPS may not have clinched a win.

England’s Jos Buttler also took his chances against Deepak Chahar before taking on Ben Stokes, introduced to IPL in the fourth over. It was a good move on the part of MI to pair Parthiv Patel and Buttler at the top and the latter—having faced Stokes at England’s practise sessions and in County matches—was ready to challenge his England teammate straight away. He lifted Stokes’ fourth ball over long on and then, what an amazing shot he played, stepping out far too across and scoop-shovelling a short ball over the wicket-keeper for a second six. It was a contest that Buttler won taking chances, before umpire S. Ravi made the mistake of declaring him leg before to the tweaker Imran Tahir, who was delighted, but was not so when the same umpire did not rule Pollard out leg before; the replays showed that the ball would have hit the middle of middle stump.

It was a match that demonstrated how opening pairs take chances in the six-over power play and also in the end just as Hardik Pandya did.