Duleep Trophy: Indian batter Ajinkya Rahane to lead West Zone
Indian middle-order batter Ajinkya Rahane is set to lead West Zone in the Duleep Trophy, scheduled to be played from September 8 to 25 in Tamil Nadu. Earlier, PTI reported that Rahane, who is recovering from a groin injury, will return to cricket at the Duleep Trophy. Rahane hasn't played competitive cricket since May. He also fell out of favor with the Indian selectors.
Why does this story matter?
- As stated, Rahane is yet to play competitive cricket since May this year.
- He had suffered a groin injury while featuring for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
- He also opted out of the Ranji Trophy knockouts for Mumbai due to this injury.
- Rahane, who India's mainstay middle-order batter till the South African Test series, eyes a comeback.
Rahane averaged 22.67 in South Africa
Rahane had abysmal returns in his last five Test series. The middle-order batter averaged a mere 22.67 across three Tests in South Africa. He was omitted for the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka in March. Cheteshwar Pujara too was dropped for the Sri Lanka series. However, he is enjoying a rip-roaring form in County cricket. Rahul would want to follow a similar route.
Rahane averaged 19 in IPL 2022
Rahane was bought by KKR at his base price of Rs. 1 crore in the IPL 2022 auction. The top-order batter slammed 44(34) against Chennai Super Kings in the season opener. However, the returns have been mediocre since then. Overall, he could amass only 133 runs in seven matches at 19.00 (SR 103.91). He scored a 24-ball 28 in the last game against SRH.
A look at West Zone squad
West Zone squad: Ajinkya Rahane (captain, Mumbai), Prithvi Shaw (Mumbai), Yashasvi Jaiswal (Mumbai), Shreyas Iyer (Mumbai), Hardik Tamore (wk; Mumbai), Shams Mulani (Mumbai), Tanush Kotian (Mumbai), Shardul Thakur (Mumbai), Rahul Tripathi (Maharashtra), Satyajeet Bachhav (Maharashtra), Het Patel (Gujarat), Chintan Gaja (Gujarat), Jaydev Unadkat (Saurashtra), Chirag Jani (Saurashtra), Atit Sheth (Baroda).
Here is Central Zone squad
Central Zone squad: Karan Sharma (captain, Uttar Pradesh), Shubham Sharma (vice-captain, Madhya Pradesh), Himanshu Mantri (wicket-keeper, Madhya Pradesh), Yash Dubey (Madhya Pradesh), Priyam Garg (Uttar Pradesh), Rinku Singh (Uttar Pradesh), Ashok Menaria (Rajasthan), Akshay Wadkar (wk; Vidarbha), Gaurav Yadav (Madhya Pradesh), Venkatesh Iyer (Madhya Pradesh), Deepak Dhapola (Uttarakhand), Aniket Choudhary (Rajasthan), Kumar Kartikeya (Madhya Pradesh), Aditya Sarwate (Vidarbha), Ankit Rajpoot (Uttar Pradesh).
Who won the 2019 Duleep Trophy final?
In the 2019 Duleep Trophy final, India Red beat India Green by an innings and 38 runs. Abhimanyu Easwaran, who scored a scintillating 153, was adjudged the Player of the Match. Akshay Wakhare took a five-for in just 5.5 overs.