Ajinkya Rahane returned to the Kolkata Knight Riders squad after a gap of two games in their fixture against Mumbai Indians on Monday. He was criticised for his slow strikerate during his 25-run innings that took 24 balls. Though KKR had a strong powerplay, Rahane failed to capitalize along with his opening partner Venkatesh Iyer and fell in the 10th over of the innings.
KKR has been unable so far to find a consistently winning combination. They have only four wins from eleven games, and are second to last on the points table behind Mumbai. Today they seemed to want to provide a second chance to their underperforming players and no fewer than five players made a comeback to the squad, including Rahane. Retained players Venkatesh Iyer and Varun Chakravarthy slotted back in to side after a break for a couple of games, as well as wicketkeeper Sheldon Jackson and pacer Pat Cummins.
Ajinkya Rahane one of five dropped players to return for KKR against MI
Venkatesh Iyer justified his inclusion in the squad with a 24-ball 43 at the top of the order. The partnership between him and Rahane added a brisk 60 runs in under six overs, the first fifty-plus opening stand for KKR so far in IPL 2022 and easily their best powerplay of the season.
While Venky delivered at the top, Rahane took the backseat and preferred to watch from the other end. By the time Venky was dismissed at the end of the powerplay, Rahane had only faced 10 balls. KKR failed to capitalise on the start provided by their fiery all-rounder, and added only 26 runs off the next five overs after going at 10 r.p.o in the powerplay.
Rahane was bowled halfway through the game by spinner Kartikeya Singh, who had already troubled him earlier. A flighted delivery forced Rahane into a reverse sweep, and the ball snaked past the bat and on to the stumps.
Twitter users were equally baffled by Rahane’s selection, and his slow-paced innings.
Forget wickets.. his best contribution today is to allow Rahane to score that early boundary and make him bat for 24 balls 👍
— SMM (@Shhy10) May 9, 2022
2 minutes of silence for those who criticized Rahane for not playing county cricket like Pujara
— Udit (@udit_buch) May 9, 2022
Nice loop by Kumar Kartikeya but Mumbai Indians might have been better served by keeping Ajinkya Rahane in.
I hope not getting batters out will be part of the next stage of T20's evolution. #MIvKKR
— Saurabh Somani (@saurabh_42) May 9, 2022
Rahane be like: Why waste your time making runs in county when you can play Test cricket in a T20 match?#IPL2022
— Akash Kumar Jha (@Akashkumarjha14) May 9, 2022
After Pujara in County Cricket, now Ajinkya Rahane has made a statement for selection in Test cricket after scoring 25 (24) against MI today. #IPL2022
— Sameer Allana (@HitmanCricket) May 9, 2022