Many had said that Ajinkya Rahane is best suited to the ODI and the Test format. But the classy batsman continues to prove his critics wrong.
We witnessed Rahane's class in IPL 2015 and he has been treating us with his risk-free, unruffled batting, yet again in the current edition of the IPL.
Rahane was instrumental in Rising Pune Supergiants' seven-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Thursday.
The former Rajasthan Royals player was brilliant on the field as he resulted in a run out and took a catch to dismiss Sam Billings, who was looking extremely dangerous.
Rahane followed it up with his batting skills on Thursday. He proved yet again that MS Dhoni can rely on his shoulders when it comes to sensible batting while chasing a target.
Rahane is one of the highest run-getters in IPL 2016. He has notched up 343 runs in nine matches with five half-centuries. Rahane has an average of 49.00 and a decent strike-rate of 126.56.
The 27-year old batsman anchored the RPS run chase and built crucial partnerships with Usman Khawaja, Saurabh Tiwary, MS Dhoni and Thisara Perera to help his side go over the line against an upbeat Delhi Daredevils side.
Rahane remained unbeaten at 63 from 48 balls and his innings was decorated with seven boundaries.
"I am really happy the way I batted. The plan was that one batsman has to be there till the end and it was my day today. So I am happy that I made it count. I felt that the first six overs were very important because the ball was coming very nicely on to the bat and after that it got slower and slower," Rahane was quoted as saying by the official website of IPL.
"So after the first six overs, I decided that if I bat till 15th or 16th over we have a good chance to win and that's what I did. Then (there were) the partnerships with (MS) Dhoni bhai and Thisara (Perera) in the end. The partnership with Saurabh (Tiwary) before that was very good, and the 59-run partnership at top-of the order with Usman (Khawaja) was very important."
In IPL 2015, Rahane had amassed 540 runs (for the now-suspended Rajasthan Royals) in 13 innings with a similar average and he maintained a healthy strike-rate of 130.75.
The Mumbai-born batsman is proving his mettle in IPL 2016 as well. If he continues to bat in similar fashion in the remaining matches at the top of the order for the Supergiants, then the Pune outfit may have a chance to make it to the IPL 2016 Playoff.