Updated March 14th, 2024 at 19:29 IST

'I am the lowest scorer': Ajinkya Rahane makes blunt admission despite leading Mumbai to Ranji title

Ajinkya Rahane scored just 214 runs and ended up in the ninth spot among Mumbai's run-getters in the Ranji Trophy,

Ajinkya Rahane during Ranji Trophy final | Image:BCCI
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Ajinkya Rahane did not have a season to remember with the bat but he made sure that it is memorable for all of Mumbai as he lead his team to the Ranji Trophy title in 2024. Despite scoring just 214 runs and ending up in the ninth spot among Mumbai's run-getters in the Ranji Trophy, Rahane's leadership shone as he brilliantly led Mumbai to a 42nd Ranji Trophy titled.ย 

Mumbai defeated Vidarbha by 169 runs in the final to clinch the title. Even though Rahane endured a wretched run with the willow but he was the "happiest man" at the Wankhede on Thursday, having led Mumbai to their 42nd Ranji Trophy title. While he might have not fired in the season, Rahane's timely 73 in the second innings of the final, and a 130-run stand with young centurion Musheer Khan did put the match beyond Vidarbha's reach.

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Rahane is the happiest man at Wankhede

"Even though I am the lowest scorer for my team, I am the happiest to lift the trophy. As a player, you will have ups and downs. It's about creating atmosphere in dressing room and enjoy each other's success. This is a special moment," Rahane said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

"Last year, we failed to qualify for the knock-outs by one run. We had to create the right culture and attitude in the team. We created a fitness culture and I would thank MCA for providing all the support," Rahane added.

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Rahane was all praise for Vidarbha's fighting effort

ALSO READ | Mumbai win Ranji Trophy title for THE 42nd TIME, defeat Vidarbha by 169 runs in the final

"I want to appreciate Vidarbha's fight. Chasing 538, giving up is easy but they played really well." Player of the Match Musheer Khan and Player of the Tournament Tanush Kotian were thankful to their skipper for his guidance.

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"I enjoyed batting with him," said Musheer, adding, "During our partnership, he would very nicely explain what he wanted from me." Kotian thanked Rahane for helping him unlock his true batting potential which saw him score over 500 runs.

"Last year I got a bit more confidence in my batting and I worked hard with my father. Ajju dada (that's how youngsters in Mumbai team address him) also helped me a lot," Kotian said, underlining Rahane's contribution in creating a healthy dressing room atmosphere.

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For the retiring Dhawal Kulkarni, Rahane said that any amount of praise would be less considering his contribution to Mumbai cricket. Dhawal has played six finals for Mumbai and won five Ranji Trophy titles.

"We have played for Mumbai since our U-14 days. We toured for India U-19 (New Zealand). Whatever I say in his praise would be less. His contribution is laudable. Off- field experience sharing and not also with those not in team."ย 

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Published March 14th, 2024 at 19:10 IST