Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Veteran orthodox batsman Ajinkya Rahane is never considered as a great T20 batter. In his previous IPL seasons, the right-handed batsman managed a total of 4,074 runs including 30 half centuries with an average strike rate of 120.7.

However, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) showed immense faith on Rahane and they were duly rewarded for it. Rahane has hit the purple patch during the ongoing IPL. He has scored 224 runs including two fifties at a monumental strike rate of 189.83 in six matches so far. His great form with the bat has made CSK a top contender for the play-offs.

CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan has credited skipper MS Dhoni for the big call. 

In a recent interview, Viswanathan revealed Dhoni’s exact words during CSK’s strategy meeting for the auction ahead of the IPL 2023 season which forced CSK management to pick Rahane.

“‘Nothing like it if you can get him’, MS told me when I asked him, and that is why we bid for Rahane,” recalled Viswanathan.

Notably, there were no other bidders for Rahane during the auction. CSK acquired him at his base price of INR 50 lakh.

It was a risky call considering Rahane’s poor strike rate in IPL and his dismal show in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. But, ultimately it has been a victory not just for Rahane, but also for CSK. As per Viswanathan, it was all because of Captain Cool Dhoni’s wisdom.