London, June 9 (IANS) As he returned to action in the longest form of the game after a gap of more than a year, experienced middle-order batter Ajinkya Rahane achieved a milestone — becoming the 13th Indian batter to score 5000 or more runs in Test cricket.
Rahane, who played his last Test against South Africa at Cape Town in January 2022, struck a half-century to rescue India from a precarious 151/5 at the end of the second day’s play in the World Test Championship Final against Australia at The Oval here.
The 25-year-old from Maharashtra, who was batting on 29 overnight, completed his half-century off 92 deliveries and went on to share a vital partnership of 109 runs for the seventh wicket with all-rounder Shardul Thakur
At the end of the opening session on Day 3, Rahane was batting on 89 off 122 deliveries. Though he got out soon after the resumption of play, without adding any run to his score, Rahane had already done a great job by helping India escape from what could have been an embarrassing situation.
Rahane, who made his debut against Australia in March 2013 in New Delhi, reached the 5000-run milestone in his 83rd Test and joins the list that includes Sachin Tendulkar (15921), Rahul Dravid (13265), Sunil Gavaskar (10122), VVs Laxman (8781), Virender Sehwag (8503), Virat Kohli (8430), Sourav Ganguly (7212), Cheteshwar Pujara (7168), Dilip Vengsarkar (6868), Mohd Azharuddin (6215), GR Viswanath (6080) and Kapil Dev (5248).
Rahane, who had a successful IPL helping Chennai Super Kings win their fifth title, came in for praise from the netizens for his crucial innings. The highlight of the Mumbai batter’s and former captain’s innings and his partnership with Thakur was that he rotated the strike regularly.
Ironically, just before he was dropped from the team, Rahane was singled out by the team management of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri for getting into a shell and not keeping the scoreboard moving.
Life seems to have come full circle for Rahane on Friday as he struck a superb 89 and came in for high praise from netizens for coming to India’s rescue when needed most.
Many of the fans wrote on Twitter that Rahane has paid back for the faith reposed in him while others felt that he deserved a century for the way he batted on Friday.