Mohali: What a relief it must be for the 23-year-old Ajinkya Rahane! While India were having a perfect run in the 5-match ODI series against England, winning the first two games, it hadn't been so perfect for Rahane. A score of 15 at Hyderabad was followed by a knock of 14 runs at Delhi. (Also read: India clinch series with win in 3rd ODI)
However, Thursday finally broke the run drought for Rahane as he made his comeback among runs with a bang in the 3rd ODI. He struck 91 off 104 balls and forged a 111-run partnership with Gautam Gambhir for the 2nd wicket. His inning ensured India never looked far from overhauling England's 298. It was no surprise that the youngster walked away with the man-of-the-match award.
Before this inning, voices were becoming louder about how the openers were the weakest link for India in the series so far. However, in Thursday's game, Rahane and Parthiv Patel (38) put on a 79-run opening stand, providing the team with the perfect platform.
Leaving aside the recent poor run, Rahane has impressed with his technique and temperament since making his India debut during the tour of England.
Rahane announced his entry on the international stage with a 61-run knock off 39 balls in the T20 against England at Old Trafford in August.
The Mumbai batsmen who played for the Mumbai Indians in IPL in the first three editions and then shifted to the Rajasthan Royals, has been known to be a solid hitter of the cricket ball in the domestic circuit. The 23-year-old scored 1089 runs in his second Ranji season to help Mumbai win the trophy for the 38th time.
Rahane has been equally prolific in the Indian Premier League and has been well-appreciated for his style of batting by Sachin Tendulkar. He opened the innings on most occasions for his side before being bought by the Royals for the 2011 edition.
He has also played well outside India and had two centuries to his name in the Emerging Players tournament organised in Australia, earlier this year.