Ajinkya Rahane has emerged as the hottest target of the mid-season window which started today. Chennai Super Kings are looking to sign the versatile right-handed batsman to solve their top-order batting woes.
In seven games, CSK have registered just two wins which is not something associated with the three-time IPL champions. They are in desperate need for a top-order batsman who can help them build innings and rotate strikes.
The role was earlier played perfectly by Suresh Raina. But CSK have failed to fill the void that Chinna Thalla left after returning home citing personal reasons.
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However, the mid-season transfer has given them a golden opportunity to bounce back. Rahane looks like a great choice for Chennai but is Delhi Capitals willing to trade him off?
IPL 2020: Why Ajinkya Rahane?
Rahane is amongst the few batsmen who have managed to amass over 3,500 runs. The right-handed batsman has a total of 3,835 runs with two hundreds and 27 fifties. He was widely regarded as not being a T20 players but his 2012 season with Rajasthan Royals broke all the stereotypes.
He caught the eye of then Rajasthan Royals’ Shane Watson (now with CSK), who had watched him score an 80-ball hundred in a session in the second innings of a three-day game against Australia A in 2010. Having bought him from Mumbai Indians, Rahul Dravid and Watson got Rahane to open the innings. “Opening the batting with Rahul bhai gave me a chance to express myself and showcase my batting prowess,” he explained.
Rahane is now playing with Delhi Capitals and is desperately looking for games this season. The only match he has played so far was against Mumbai Indians where he came in for injured Rishabh Pant. It means, Rahane is most likely to be benched again once Pant recovers.
Bhogle, has given a solution which will be a win-win for both Rahane and CSK. He believes that the 32-year-old Mumbai batsman will be a good buy for CSK in the mid-season transfer. “How’s this for a mid-season transfer thought: #CSK desperately need a quality top-order batsman. Ajinkya Rahane desperately needs a game. Ajinkya Rahane is not getting a game”.
IPL 2020: How can Rahane’s addition help struggling CSK?
Chennai have bowled first in all seven matches so far. Barring its matches against Rajasthan Royals the bowling department has done a fair job in restricting the opponents to a 180 or less total. However, it is the batting who are yet to perform. Besides Faf du Plessis, none of the CSK batsman has shown consistency this season.
Captain Dhoni even criticised his under-performing batting side after 10 runs loss to Kolkata Knights. He said that the batsman had let bowlers down.“Rotation of strike was important. At times later on I felt we weren’t able to finish, there were hardly any boundaries in the final few overs, so we need to be innovative at the end when they are continuously hitting a back of a length. That’s where we need to adapt better with the bat and I don’t think we did that,” he said.
This is where Rahane comes in. The 32-year-old batsman is versatile and can play from opener down to No.6. His versatility with the willow can play important role in CSK batting department.
His best position in CSK would be No.3 or 4 which was earlier occupied by Raina. Rahane can act as an anchor and letting batsman like Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja play more freely.
IPL 2020: Is Delhi Capitals willing to let Ajinkya Rahane go?
It seems unlikely. Talking to InsideSport, DC official said that they have no such knowledge of the trade and it seems unlikely it will take place. “He is an integral part of the team and he wasn’t brought in with the idea of trading him mid-season. Whatever be said on the outside, he has been excellent with the team and has looked to give his input wherever possible,” DC official said.
CSK have five days to make a decision and reach out to DC if they are looking for resurgence.