India cricketer Ajinkya Rahane on Tuesday said that he hopes the selectors recognise the efforts that he is making while deciding the World Cup squad. The right-handed batsman, who last featured for India in the shorter formats against South Africa last year in January, was not included in the limited-overs series against Australia, this making his road tougher to get selected in India’s squad for the upcoming World Cup tournament in May.
“As a batsman, I am aggressive but by nature, I am quite shy. I prefer to let my bat speak but sometimes it’s important to speak the truth,” the 30-year-old, who is leading Mumbai in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Tournament told reporters.
“I have always believed the team comes first and respected the management and the selectors’ decision. I will continue to do that. But in the end, it is important that your performance is recognised,” he added.
The right-handed batsman complaint that he has not been given consistent chances to showcase his talent. “The point is that if as a player I have always played for the team, then I deserve chances more consistently. That’s the least I am asking,” he said.
In 2017, the batsman was given the player-of-the-series award in West Indies, and in the same year, he scored four consecutive half centuries against Australia, while opening the innings for India. In 2018, against the Proteas, he was asked to step down the batting order with Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli filling up the top three spots.
“I also believe that my performances were really good. If you see the last three-four series, my average was around 45 to 50,” he said. “After I was dropped, I went back to domestic cricket and feel I have done reasonably well.
He added: “I have never thought about my personal achievements. I did well as an opener against West Indies and Australia but in South Africa, the management thought I would be suitable at No. 4. I said ‘whatever you prefer’ because the team wanted it. But every individual needs confidence and positive vibes like ‘yes, you are there and you are doing it for the team’.”
With chief selector MSK Prasad recently mentioning that Rahane could still be a part of India’s World Cup plans, the batsman is hopeful of making it into the squad for the big tournament. “It feels good that I am being considered. But at the same time, you need to get a chance,” he said.
“Playing the World Cup is a dream every cricketer cherishes. I do respect the selectors and team management’s performances and I think I deserve a chance. I am very much hopeful. Like I said, I keep negative thoughts away and you never know, things can change any time,” he added.