Ajinkya Rahane has said he is happy to be back in the Rajasthan Royals and is excited to be the part of the franchise again,

“I am really excited, happy to be back with the Royals. I am determined to do well. The team was like a family, and now we are back again. It’s a very positive feeling. The best thing about Shane Warne is he is very instinctive. He takes decisions that no one can anticipate and has a solid cricket brain,” he told Hindustan Times.

RTM, IPL 11, Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings,
Steven Smith and Ajinkya Rahane are known for their batting prowess. Photo Credit: IPL.

Rahane was though not retained by the franchise, but it (franchise) used its Right Match (RTM) card on him for Rs 4 Crore.

Once again, he will be playing for the franchise he had represented in the past.

The franchise was banned in 2015 for two years, along with Chennai Super Kings over the match-fixing saga.

Rahul Dravid, Pakistan U19, India U19, Shaheen Afridi, Khyber Agency,
Rahul Dravid is now the coach of India A and India U19 Photo Credit: PTI.

The Rajasthan based franchise is making a comeback in the league after two years, and unlike the last time, there is no Rahul Dravid in the side.

On being asked whether he would miss Dravid in the backroom staff, Rahane said,

“Definitely. He is my role model. We played together and then he was a mentor. His inputs helped us a lot as a team as well as individually. I have learnt so many things from him.”

Dravid was associated with the team till from 2011 to 2013 as a player cum mentor and later took over mentor’s role after retiring.

This time, though, he will not be part of the side, as he is associated with India A and India U19.

The rules of BCCI debar a coach from being associated with any team other than BCCI’s one. Rajasthan Royals have already roped in Shane Warne as their mentor.

Former Indian cricketer, Sairaj Bahutule, has also been appointed as the spin bowling coach. Zubin Bharucha will continue his association with the team in the capacity of Head of Cricketing operations.

As per the reports, Amol Muzumdar is also in talks with the franchise, but an official announcement is yet to be made. Rajasthan Royals play their first game of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 9.

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