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Ajinkya Rahane leaves behind MS Dhoni and Matthew Hayden on CSK debut in IPL 2023

Ajinkya Rahane made his debut for Chennai Super Kings against Mumbai Indians in 12th match of IPL 2023

Aditya Kukalyekar Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar New Delhi Published on: April 09, 2023 7:06 IST
Ajinkya Rahane, IPL, IPL 2023, MI vs CSK
Image Source : AP Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane lit up his home ground for the rival side Chennai Super Kings (CSK) with his serene batting on Saturday (April 8). Making his debut for the franchise, Rahane smashed 61 runs off just 27 deliveries with seven fours and three sixes to his name. Courtesy of his knock, CSK chased down 158 runs without much fuss and won the game by seven wickets. Rahane also smashed the fastest fifty of IPL 2023 so far going past Jos Buttler and Shardul Thakur who had reached the half-century in 20 balls earlier in the season.

Meanwhile, Rahane also slammed joint-second fastest fifty for CSK in the history of IPL with only Suresh Raina ahead of him who had scored a 16-ball fifty at the same venue against Punjab Kings (then Kings XI Punjab) back in May 2014. Moeen Ali is also second in this aspect having scored a 19-ball half-century against the Rajasthan Royals last year at the Brabourne Stadium.

On his CSK debut, Rahane clearly left behind the likes of MS Dhoni, Faf du Plessis and Matthew Hayden. These are certainly the stalwarts of CSK who had hit fifties in quick time for the side. While Dhoni had hit a 20-ball half-century, Du Plessis and Hayden had reached the milestone in 22 balls.

After the match, Ajinkya Rahane revealed that he came to know that he was playing only before the toss. He also credited MS Dhoni and head coach Stephen Fleming for giving freedom to the players. "Really enjoyed it, I got to know before the toss. Moeen was unwell. And Flem told me I was playing. Had a good domestic season. I just try to maintain my shape. Focus on timing.

"It is all about you have to feel that you are playing a match. IPL is a long tournament and you never know when you get an opportunity. I always enjoy playing at Wankhede. I have never played a Test here. I would want to play a Test here. Important thing about Mahi bhai and Fleming is they give freedom to everyone. Mahi bhai told me to prepare well," Rahane said.

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