India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane recently made news for all the wrong reasons. One of the best fielders in the current Indian side, Rahane was guilty of letting catches slip out of his hands on more than one occasion in the recently concluded two-match Test series between India and Bangladesh. R Ashwin bore the brunt of Mumbai batsmen’s mistakes as Rahane dropped three catches of the off-spinners’ bowling.
In an exclusive chat with a leading Indian publication, India’s fielding coach R Sridhar said that Ajinkya Rahane’s poor performance was because of the pitch in Indore. It had way too much bounce. Sridhar said that he is always surprised when Ajinkya Rahane drops a catch considering the work he puts in the fielding department. Sridhar said that Rahane was standing a bit forward than he should have in the Indore Test, resulting in the edges flying to him at chest height. He said that the Indore track’s bounce (and R Ashwin’s height) made the difference and Ajinkya Rahane failed to adjust to the change. Sridhar further added that Rahane is one of the best slip fielders in the world and his record speaks for itself.
India have been dominant on the field since their 4-1 demolition by England in 2018. India have won 11 of their 12 games, including series wins in Australia and West Indies. Back home, India demolished South Africa and Bangladesh. This gave them a good head start in the ICC World Test Championship table. The pacers have been in the headlines for their impressive performances in this period, but the slip cordon have also done their job well, clinging on to near impossible chances. Which is why, when Ajinkya Rahane (who is supposed to be India’s best slip fielder) dropped multiple catches, people were surprised.
Ajinkya Rahane was not part of the RR retained players list ahead of the IPL 2020 auction. Rahane will now play for the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2020. This will end his 9-year stint at the Royals. It remains to be seen how Rahane will feature in the Capitals’ plans for IPL 2020, considering that the franchise has players like Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw. In return for Rahane, DC let go off Mayank Markande and Rahul Tewatia.