'Use your ability to..:' MS Dhoni reveals his chat with Ajinkya Rahane ahead of the IPL 2023 season
Ajinkya Rahane played a blistering knock of 61 runs off just 27 balls, including seven fours and three maximums. His elegant strokeplay left everyone awestruck. No wonder MS Dhoni heaped praise on him while talking to Simon Doull in the post-match presentation.
Dhoni revealed the chat between him and Rahane before the start of the season. The CSK captain asked Rahane to bat at his strengths and enjoy the game.
MS Dhoni lauds Ajinkya Rahane after a victory over Mumbai Indians
MS Dhoni spoke highly about Ajinkya Rahane and his eye-pleasing knock against Mumbai Indians that saw CSK home by 7 wickets.
“We spoke right at the start, and he was like, what are you looking for me? And, I told him what I had in mind,” MS Dhoni exclaimed. MS added, “He (Rahane) is not someone who will consistently hit sixes, but he is very sound technically. I told him to play to his strengths, use your ability to manipulate the fields.”
Indeed, Ajinkya Rahane is not the biggest hitter of the ball. He is not someone who can clear the ropes consistently. But, as MS pointed out, Rahane has the expertise in playing with the field.
Rahane said the same thing after the match. “I just try to maintain my shape. Focus on timing. Important thing about Mahi bhai and Fleming is they give freedom to everyone,” the 34-years old asserted.
Even today, his most beautiful shots were all along the ground, like that Sachinesque straight drive off Arshad Khan in the 4th over. There were several cut shots off the backfoot as well in his 27-ball assault. It was a kind of knock you would never want to end.
Dhoni stated further, “I told him to go and enjoy, don't take stress, and we'll back you.” Rahane did enjoy in the middle, that too in a fine manner. He belted MI bowlers all around the park in what was his first game of the season.
“He batted well, and he was not happy with the way he got out. That says it all,” Dhoni concluded. This indicates that Rahane is hungry for runs and to prove his critics wrong. If this is just a start, we are in for some alluring strokeplay from Ajinkya Rahane in the coming CSK games.