Ajinkya Rahane has opened up on missing out on selection in the Word Cup 2019 squad and has conceded that he has already started preparing for the next tournament, that takes place in 2023. “When I played two months in county cricket, I learnt a lot. Yes, it was a dream to be part of the World Cup team. But I am focussing on taking everything on a positive note and moving on. I feel I am starting my preparations for the next World Cup from now itself,” Rahane told India Today.
On road to the World Cup, Rahane did not get a consistent run. He was in and out of the side from 2015. On the tour of South Africa in 2018, he was given a chance at number four by skipper Virat Kohl but was dropped after that tour. It also turned out to be his last series in white-ball cricket before World Cup.
Rahane is yet to make his comeback but as he said, he has already started to prepare for the next event. The right-handed batsman played for India A after being dropped in 2018 but could not make his comeback.
For now, he is a regular member of the Test squad and is deputy to Kohli in this format. Despite oodles of changing and chopping in the middle-order, India have not been able to solve the middle-order problem.
Selectors had included Vijay Shankar as designated number four batsman for World Cup. At the start, KL Rahul batted at that position but after an injury to Shikhar Dhawan, he opened the innings.
Ironically, he was left out of the playing XI for the first ODI against West Indies earlier this week, which clearly means that the team management has again started the hunt to find a batsman for that position.
Shreyas Iyer was selected to bat at number four in the previous match but he did not get a chance as the match was washed out after a play of just 13 overs.
The road to make a comeback in ODIs will not be an easy one for Rahane. However, he has four years left and can make a comeback if he does well in white-ball cricket.
After the Test series against West Indies, he will be available for Mumbai in the initial stages of the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019/20.