India and Chennai Super Kings batter Ajinkya Rahane has been on a hot streak in the Indian Premier League this season.
His unbeaten 71 off just 29 at a strike rate of 244.82 propelled CSK to a 49-run win over the Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday after MS Dhoni’s men had amassed 235/4, the highest-ever total at the Eden Gardens.
The 34-year-old was adjudged Player of the Match for his explosive innings, which included six fours and five sixes.
“The turning point is here, and I’m getting chances to play. I was not getting opportunities to play one or two years ago. If you don’t play matches, how would you show what shots you have in your arsenal?” he said during the post-match press conference.
With the World Test Championship final against Australia scheduled for June 7 in London, Rahane has peaked at the right time. Asked about CSK feeling at home at the Eden, where the yellow shirts outnumbered the purple jerseys, Rahane said, “It feels really great that CSK fans are coming everywhere, not just to the ground, airport, or outside the team hotel. It’s only possible because of Mahi Bhai. We are all really lucky that we are getting to play and learn a lot of things under him.”
This is Rahane’s second IPL stint under four-time IPL-winning skipper Dhoni, having played under him during his time at the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant.
Rahane has scored 209 runs in five games, striking at a whopping rate of 199.0, and is the third highest run-scorer for CSK, after openers Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad. “I enjoyed all the knocks this season, and I feel my best is yet to come,” he said.
Highest run-scorers for CSK in IPL 2023:
*As on 23.04.2023
With inputs from Y.B. Sarangi
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