Ajinkya Rahane has been projected as Rajasthan Royals' premier batsman since he was included in the side in 2011. His performance against Kolkata Knight Riders in Tuesday's Indian Premier League match showed once again why he is not just an asset to his IPL side but also someone who can demand a permanent place in the Indian national side. (Also read: Rajasthan Royals are champions of Super Over thrillers)
Rahane scored 72 off 59 deliveries in an innings which had six four and a solitary six. In a team known for its power-hitters including skipper Shane Watson and Steve Smith, Rahane has raced away to become the side's highest run-getter in the ongoing tournament (182 runs at an average of 36.40 after five matches). Watson, the next best batsman in the side, has scored 117 although he bats lower down the order. (RR vs KKR: Match report| Match Highlights)
Rahane's prowess with the bat is also emphasised by the fact that he now is the first Rajasthan batsman to have scored two fifties in IPL 7. On April 18, he smashed 59 off 53 against Sunrisers Hyderabad. With his team currently placed third in the points table, the 25-year-old opener would fancy his chances of improving further as IPL gets set to return to the Indian shores.
(With inputs from Rajesh Kumar)