Indian middle-order batting veteran Ajinkya Rahane started the ongoing domestic cricket season with a bang, smashing an unbeaten double century for West Zone against North East Zone during the ongoing Duleep Trophy 2022. This double ton comes when Rahane is struggling to regain his spot in the Indian Test set-up after being out of form for a long while.
In the match, Rahane spent plenty of time out in the middle, scoring 207* off 264 balls. He smashed 18 boundaries and six sixes during his innings. The veteran Mumbai batter showed his peak form, which will perhaps make national selectors take note of his performances if he keeps going. Double ton from Mumbai youngsters Yashasvi Jaiswal (228) and Prithvi Shaw (113) and contribution from Rahul Tripathi (25*) pushed West Zone to 590/2 declared in their first innings after being put to bat first by NE Zone.
The last time Rahane played for Team India was in January 2022 on a tour of South Africa. Rahane struggled to score well in that series as he could muster only 136 runs in six innings at an average of 22.67 in three matches. He could score only one half-century during the series, with a best of 58. In two Tests played in 2022, he could only score 68 runs in four innings at an average of 17.00. He had the best individual score of 58.
He has not been selected for the national side since that series. In two Tests played in 2022, he could only score 68 runs in four innings at an average of 17.00. He had the best individual score of 58.
Rahane did not show his best form in 2021 either. In 13 Test matches and across 23 innings, Rahane scored 479 runs at a sub-par average of 20.83. He could cross the fifty-run mark only twice, with the best score of 67. He was brought by Kolkata Knight Riders for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season. He had a mediocre season for KKR, scoring 133 runs in seven matches at an average of 44. His best individual score was 44. In the final stages of the tournament, he was ruled out due to an injury.
It would be interesting that for how long Rahane maintains this run of form and if it wins him back his place in the Indian middle order, of which he used to be a core part. Duleep Trophy started on September 8 and will go on till September 21.