'Probably he also had written him off' - Ganguly applauds comeback man Rahane

The former India captain hailed the team's valiant comeback man for his spirited and skilful knock on Day 3 of the WTC final. 
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The most Ajinkya Rahane effort from Ajinkya Rahane on his comeback summed up Ajinkya Rahane's career marked by unfulfilled potential, frustrating inconsistency but also tough, defining runs for India on Day 3 of the World Test Championship (WTC) final at The Oval. 

Rahane led India's fight with an exceptional knock of 89 off 129 deliveries, which came in extremely tough circumstances against a largely unrelenting Australian bowling attack. In a morning session where the Aussies were favourites to run through India's lower-order, the experienced middle-order head kept them on the park alongside the brittle but steadfast Shardul Thakur, who, too, came up with an important 51 to restrict the opposition's first-innings lead to 173. 

While Thakur earned effusive praise for playing another gutsy knock in the whites, Rahane's storied comeback was the highlight of a riveting day's play of Test cricket at The Oval. The Mumbaikar, who was dropped after a sustained dip 18 months back, made his lucky breather count with a highly skilful innings, which may just have revived his Test match stocks in Indian cricket. 

Of those who commended the elegant right-hander after the close of play was former India skipper Sourav Ganguly, who said even Rahane would've probably "written him off" when he was dropped near the age of 34 early last year with youngsters waiting in the wings for their opportunity. 

Ganguly applauds resurgent Rahane 

Speaking on host broadcaster Star Sports, Ganguly recognised how strenuous Test match comebacks can be, having been there himself, and hailed Ajinkya Rahane with that backdrop in mind. It was a vintage Rahane knock, featuring shots of the highest quality when his team had their backs against the wall to revive their fortunes and give them an outside chance. 

"How good it is, after 18 months. He (Rahane) was away for 18 months from Test cricket, Many of them had written him off and probably he himself," Ganguly said. 

"It is not easy in Indian cricket as a batter to come back and make a statement. I think it is tremendous. There have been many comebacks in the past but not after such a long period."

"He was magnificent. He fought hard despite wickets falling at the other end. He will be extremely proud of what he has done till lunch," he added. 

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For Ganguly, Rahane's innings, where he played close to his body and tried not to force the issue, instead focusing on timing the ball astutely, should be a benchmark for other Indian batters when they come out to try and salvage a draw in the final innings of the WTC final. 

"He showed a lot to the dressing room that if you apply and if you have a little bit of luck which India have, you will be able to bat on this pitch, a lot of credit to Rahane, he was magnificent and Shardul Thakur as well. He has batted well for India. It’s a good fight for India," he added.