Ajinkya Rahane’s knock in first ODI is as good as Virat Kohli’s, believes Sourav Ganguly

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Ajinkya Rahane’s knock in first ODI is as good as Virat Kohli’s, believes Sourav Ganguly

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SportsCafe Desk

02/03/2018

Sourav Ganguly has heaped praise on Ajinkya Rahane and claimed that Rahane’s 79-run knock is as good as Kohli’s century which helped Team India beat South Africa in the first ODI. Ganguly has suggested that Rahane should learn the art of converting small scores into hundreds from the Indian skipper.

After failing to find a place for the first two Tests, Rahane got a chance in the final Test but started the limited-overs format by scoring 79 runs off 86 balls alongside Kohli who scored his 33rd ODI century. Ganguly has been mighty impressed with the character shown by Rahane but he felt that he should work on converting his fifties into hundreds and Kohli will be the best role model for him.

"I am extremely happy to see the way Ajinkya Rahane and Bhuvneshwar Kumar stamped their authority once again. They are invaluable to this team. Rahane's performance was not a surprise because he is a class act. Along with his quality as a batsman, what he needs to learn from his skipper is how to get a hundred. Maybe a dinner together will help! His knock of 79 in the first ODI was as good as Virat's but the difference is that Virat very rarely misses out on a ton once he is set," Ganguly wrote in his column for TOI. 

Team India successfully carried the winning momentum in the limited-overs format by winning the first ODI in Durban by six wickets. With the help of a 189-run stand for the third wicket between Kohli and Rahane, India chased the target of 270 runs with five overs to spare. Ganguly appreciated the passion of the team and the high profile cricket by the team.

"The last 10 days in South Africa have been brilliant for the Indians, led by an exceptional Virat Kohli. It just goes to show, as it has in the past, that the Indian team gets better after spending some time in overseas conditions," he wrote.

"I am not surprised to see the performance of Kohli and his boys. The victory at Wanderers will be etched in the minds of the Kohli brigade. The value of this sort of win is not measured as just another win — its effect is far reaching and we saw that in the ODI in Durban where India dominated."

South Africa lost injured AB de Villiers for the first three games of the limited-overs series and their performance took a nosedive in Durban. To add insult to injury, the team now will be dented in the absence of their skipper in the high-profile series. Du Plessis was the knight in the shining armour for South Africa in the opening game and scored a fighting century to propel South Africa to a par score of 269 runs after their middle order crumbled to India's wrist spin.

"There is still a lot of cricket to be played but I have a feeling that India have delivered the first psychological blow to South Africa over the last two matches. South Africa, without [AB] De Villiers and [Dale] Steyn, have a big hole in their side," he observed.

"Also, to leave out [Lungi] Ngidi and [Vernon] Philander was not the right decision. It will be hard to stop India if [Andile] Phehlukwayo is brought in and he and [Imran] Tahir are the fourth and fifth bowlers in this series."

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