Home Cricket ‘When I Came to CSK Last Year…’: Ajinkya Rahane Reflects on How His Role Changed After Joining Chennai Super Kings

‘When I Came to CSK Last Year…’: Ajinkya Rahane Reflects on How His Role Changed After Joining Chennai Super Kings

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Ajinkya Rahane didn't bat in CSK's last match due to a calf injury. (AP Photo)

Ajinkya Rahane didn’t bat in CSK’s last match due to a calf injury. (AP Photo)

Ajinkya Rahane played a significant role in Chennai Super Kings’ title winning run last year.

Chennai Super Kings batter Ajinkya Rahane has revealed how his style of play has changed since joining the five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions ahead of last season. Rahane, who made his debut in the franchise tournament in 2008, has represented Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders before becoming a part of the Chennai-based franchise.

According to Rahane, his role in those teams was completely different. He mostly played as an anchor who would help his team in building the foundation. That role changed at CSK Kings and Rahane’s big-hitting prowess was on display in several games last season.

Rahane aggregated 326 runs at a strike-rate of 172.49 in IPL 2023 where CSK became the champions to claim their fifth title.

In a video shared by CSK, the 35-year-old can be heard reminiscing about his initial days with the franchise.

“When I came to CSK last year, my role was completely clear. Whenever I get an opportunity, go out and play my game, play with freedom. That gave me clarity that I know my game really well. If I can play with freedom and positive intent, that’s my game. When the team management is backing you, you just have to trust them. You just go out there and play your game without thinking about the outcome,” Rahane said.

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Rahane further spoke about the Impact Player rule, which was introduced in the last IPL season.

He reckons that it now allows a player to explore himself and perform freely. He also referred to the huge fanbase of Chennai Super Kings, saying,

“It feels really special. Whatever I am today, is obviously because of the fans, their love and support during good or bad times. I always respect that and it feels really good,” Rahane said.

Rahane has scored 119 runs in five innings so far this season. His best score came in an away game against Delhi Capitals in Vizag. While the majority of the CSK batters failed to survive long, Rahane scored 45 runs off 30 balls in that fixture.

Despite his efforts, the reigning champions lost to DC by 20 runs.

During CSK’s last game against Kolkata Knight Riders, Rahane didn’t bat and later, captain Ruturaj Gaikwad revealed the senior batter is struggling with a calf injury.

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