Having impressed all with his 29-ball unbeaten 71 and contributing significantly to Chennai Super Kings’ 49-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Eden Gardens here, Ajinkya Rahane feels the opportunities he got in the yellow jersey have helped him flourish in the shortest format.
After CSK recorded its fifth win, Rahane spoke about his fine form this season, featuring two 30-plus and two 50-plus scores, and his aggressive knock with an astounding strike rate of nearly 245 on Sunday.
“The turning point is here 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 armoury,” said Rahane, who has an average strike rate of 121 in T20s and is often seen as a red ball batter, on Sunday.
“I was happy when CSK picked me. They gave me opportunities to play and express myself. You get a chance to learn many things when you play under Mahi bhai (M.S. Dhoni).
“The way the format is evolving, I feel as an individual you have to keep growing and developing your skills. My preparation has always been good. I always tried to improve myself, develop one or two new shots. Now I’m able to show my shots.”
The former India captain said he trusted his own style of play. “For me, it’s all about timing the ball, playing proper cricketing shots, without thinking about someone else…For me, it’s all about ‘being Ajinkya Rahane’ and backing my game in the middle.”
Rahane, who last donned India colours in an ODI in 2018 and in a T20I in 2016, preferred to live in the present.
“Naturally, there will be talks (about India recall) when someone does well. My job is to stay in the moment…I still feel my best is yet to come, really have enjoyed all the knocks (this season)… Intent is about how badly you want to do well for your team. I’ve always been thinking about that, whether I’m playing for CSK or India,” said Rahane.