Indian coach and former cricketer Anil Kumble has recently revealed that Ajinkya Rahane will be at the top of the batting order in the upcoming limited-overs series against England. Kumble also added that he was glad to see such healthy competition among players in the team.
With Rohit Sharma injured, the team will have to look to other combinations for the opening pair. Rahane has played as an opener in 42 of his 72 ODIs and with players like Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav; it will be a challenge for him to go in the middle.
Kumble said, “At this point of time, he is (being looked at as a top-order option only). In the one-day format, I don’t think there’s a set batting order, so at this point in time, he’s still batting at the top of the order.”
In the second warm-up match against England, side A Captain Rahane scored 91 and his team won by six wickets with 10.2 overs still remaining. Though his proficiency as an opener has been proved time and again with his ODI and IPL knocks, players like Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have pushed him to the middle order of late. Sharma’s injury might also provide Rahane with the opportunity to play in the T20 series against England.
Though Kumble didn’t divulge much about the team’s composition, he seemed happy with Yuvraj Singh’s addition and so many choices for the middle order. The legendary spinner also refrained from commenting on whether Yuvraj, Pandey or Jadhav will make it to the squad. Praising Yuvraj’s skill as an all-rounder, he added that the latter two have also proved their mettle in the past.
The ODI series that begins on 15th January will see India high on confidence post their 4-0 series win against England. With big hitters eyeing for the middle order and Rahane’s recent performance in the warm up, the decision to move him to the top seems to be a rational one given Sharma’s absence.