Rahane has to perform in the WTC final to shut the mouth of haters and ensure that India win – ICF – 153 – Ajinkya Rahane


J – Thank you for your participation in this interview, firstly tell us a bit about yourself as a cricket fan and your early memories of the game.

Thank you for choosing me for this interview. I feel very delighted to be a part of this.

I am Riddhima Varshney, who loves cricket and is a die-hard fan of Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma. I also used to play cricket but not on the ground, at home or road. Started watching cricket in 2013 and liked it a lot. I was a simple fan of MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma at that time. I used to watch only World Cup matches.

J – How long have you been a fan of Ajinkya Rahane and how has the journey been so far?

I had been his fan since 2015. I didn’t know anything about him before that. My brother told me once about him and when I saw him playing in IPL, I don’t know what happened to me but started liking him. Soon, I became his ardent fan. Opened a fan page for him in 2016. He is my idol. I learn a lot of things from him. The journey of being a Rahanekar is absolutely amazing. Cheering for him at home when he was playing, supporting him when he failed and being happy for him when he played well. It has been an amazing and inspirational journey for me.


J – He was doing well during the 2014-15 period as he established himself in the red-ball format and was playing in the middle order for India in the white-ball formats, must be disappointing to see him fade away after that period and not even be considered to play for India in the 2019 World Cup?

I definitely felt bad when he was dropped from the ODI team. He is a good player and everyone knows. He plays for the team and plays when the team needs him. I hope management would have given him enough chances so that he could play more longer in the ODIs. If you’ll not give him chances to play, how will he prove you? But that didn’t happen.

I remember when he said that if he plays well in IPL, he would be back in the blues. In the same year when World Cup 2019 was organised, he scored a century in IPL shutting the mouth of the management and the haters but then also he was not selected in the World Cup team. It literally feels so bad that he will not play in blues again. It’s heartbreaking. But yes, I’ll not lose hope.

J – Let’s talk about the format that he has excelled in. He has played some important knocks for India, especially the overseas series against England in 2014 and Australia in 2014-15 and the BGT 2020-21. However, fans do criticize him for the way he gets out and the matches he has failed. Your thoughts?

Now it comes to the Tests! He has shown the world that he is one of the best players in the Tests. He has been an unsung hero for India. The Lord’s century followed by the centuries in both the innings which he scored against South Africa. He has made everyone proud. He made many records including taking 8 catches in a single test match. This is why he is called Mr Dependable of Indian Cricket. He has outshined in the past 5-6 years.

As we know, if there are fans, there are haters also. People only know how to criticize when a player doesn’t perform well. Every cricketer cannot perform in every match. They fail sometimes. It’s okay to get failed. They know they will come back stronger. For now, he is not playing well, I know. He has failed in the last few matches. Also, he is not in form. But I remain positive all the time that Ajinkya will play and will come back stronger, for sure. Let people say or think what they want to but I will support him forever whether he plays or not.


J – You are also a big fan of Rohit Sharma, tell us how long have you been following him as a fan and share your journey.

I started following Rohit Sharma from 2014. He is a World Class player, everyone knows. The way he plays his shots and the most amazing is the PULL SHOT. It is a treat to watch Rohit Sharma playing. He is the best white-ball opener and one of the best cricketers in the world. Apart from the blues, he has now excelled in Tests also. He also has a record of scoring centuries in both the innings of the test match just like Ajinkya Rahane. Rohit has been a great performer in Tests also and I love seeing him play in Tests. He is an amazing captain. The way he has made his team Mumbai Indians won 5 trophies in IPL is freaking awesome. My both favourites, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma are best friends too so it feels good to watch them play together for their country.

J – India vs New Zealand – the World Test Championship final, must be exciting but nervous at the same time since it’s in England, a place where we have struggled in the longer format. How important will be Ajinkya Rahane for India in the finals?

It is very important that he plays well in the World Test Championship finals. He has to prove himself but more than that he has to win the final for the country. People now also say that he should be dropped as he didn’t perform well but I know he is very important for the team, as a player and as a Vice Captain too. He has shown his captaincy skills when we won the Test in Australia without Virat Kohli. As Ian Chappel said, he is born to lead. He is a brave and smart captain. I agree with him. This WTC final is very important as he has to perform to shut the mouth of haters and to make the team win.

J – What would your line-up for the finals look like?

My lineup for the finals would be:

Rohit Sharma
Shubman Gill
Cheteshwar Pujara
Virat Kohli (C)
Ajinkya Rahane (VC)
Rishabh Pant (WK)
Ravindra Jadeja
Ishant Sharma
Ravichandran Ashwin
Mohammad Siraj
Jasprit Bumrah

Thank you so much for reading. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss out on any cricket related interviews. Links below.

Twitter – @bhavsarJ2_0
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