Sunil Gavaskar has hit out at the national team selectors for dropping Ajinkya Rahane, who scored four consecutive half-centuries against Australia in the ODIs, for the upcoming T20I series. Rahane though was adamant that constant competition in the team would help Indian cricket in the long run.
Rahane was one of the biggest positives of the ODI series against Australia as the Mumbai batsman scored four consecutive half-centuries (55, 70, 53, and 61) to put India in control early on in games. But despite the impressive numbers on his side, Rahane was overlooked by the selectors for the upcoming T20 series while KL Rahul, whose services weren't required in the ODIs, was handed a place in the squad.
"The man (Rahane) who has scored four consecutive fifties, why is he not included in the team? KL Rahul is a fine player, but he didn't play a single game in the five-one day matches against Australia, why is he in the team and Rahane who scored four half-centuries is not there," Gavaskar told NDTV.
But it is hardly surprising to see Gavaskar come out and defend the Indian Test vice-captain in public. The legendary cricketer was one of the first people to come out in Rahane's defence when the latter failed to retain his place in the playing XI in the ODI series against Sri Lanka despite being the top scorer in the Caribbean a series before.
"It looks like all the nice guys are being left out and they should start getting a different hair style and some body art done too to get picked in the team. Rahul got yet another chance while the top scorer of the just-concluded One-day series in the West Indies - Ajinkya Rahane - sat out once again." Gavaskar had written in his column.
Rahane, on the other hand, said that he respected the selector's decision when asked about the snub. The 29-year-old was quick to admit that he enjoys the competition of fighting for his place in the team.
"Yes, so much cricket we play, the team management, selectors take a decision and we respect it. It (competition) is necessary and it helps you to give your best performance. Whoever gets a chance does well for the team. I have always enjoyed the competition," Rahane said.
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