Ajinkya Rahane is an India international cricketer from Maharashtra who has represented his nation in all three formats and also was currently appointed as vice-captain of India in Test cricket for the upcoming two match Test series for West Indies.
He made his First-Class debut for Mumbai in 2007-08 season Ranji Trophy and later made his international debut in August 2011 in the only T20I game India played against England. Rahane later played five-match ODI series also in the tour of England 2011. Before making his debut for India, the Indian batter was part of Mumbai Indians in 2008 & 2009 season and post that he became an integral part of Rajasthan Royals in IPL since 2011.
Ajinkya Rahane despite being in Test squad during the series against West Indies in 2011, he wasn't able to make his debut due to the presence of legends like Sachin Tendulkar in the playing XI. Rahane later made his Test debut in March 2013 in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan for 4th Test match of the series against Australia and later played his second Test of his career in Dec 2013 against South Africa.
Ajinkya Rahane showed his prowess in limited overs cricket also by smashing a century (103*) for RR in the match against RCB in IPL 2012 and notably in his debut T20I game itself, he scored 61(39) against England in Manchester in 2011.
Rahane later became a pivotal player for India in all three formats from 2014-16 and was able to be part of all important events like T20 WC 2014, WC 2015, and T20 WC 2016. Rahane has been a key middle order batter for his side in overseas conditions. In Test cricket he scored 51* & 96 vs SA in Durban (2013), 118 vs NZ in Wellington (2014), 103 vs ENG in Lord's (2014), 54 & 52* vs ENG in Southampton (2014), 62 vs AUS in Adelaide (2014), 81 vs AUS in Brisbane (2014), and 147 & 48 vs AUS in Melbourne (2014).
On Dec 2014, post MS Dhoni's retirement Virat Kohli got appointed as Test captain and Ajinkya Rahane became his deputy in Test cricket. In ODI WC 2015, he scored an important 79(60) against South Africa. Rahane played later stage of T20 WC 2014 and also the semi-final game against West Indies in T20 WC 2016.
Rahane last played limited overs cricket in ODI tour to South Africa in Feb 2018 and post that he couldn't find a spot due to tough competition from other modern-day batters.
Ajinkya Rahane captained India for the first time in 2017 Test series against Australia in the absence of Virat Kohli and played a major role in India's win against Australia by 2-1 margin. Later he captained an only Test match against Afghanistan in 2018 in Bengaluru.
In 2020-21, Rahane was given a very tough job to captain Team India after getting all-out for 36 runs in first Test match in the absence of Virat Kohli. Rahane led the Indian team to a Test series win by 2-1 margin, despite losing many key players and created history at the Australian soil and Gabba. He also scored a crucial ton (112) at MCG in the Boxing Day Test.
Later in Nov 2021, he captained one Test match against New Zealand in Kanpur and that game ended in draw. However, in the 2021-22 Test tour to South Africa, Ajinkya Rahane was removed from vice captaincy post and KL Rahul was given the role after his stunning form with the bat earlier in 2021 tour to England, where India led the series by 2-1 margin.
Rahane's poor run of form in 2022 Test tour to South Africa meant he was dropped from the India whites in the future tours and it looked like end of career for Ajinkya Rahane. But in 2023 auction, he got selected for Chennai Super Kings and in IPL 2023 he played few phenomenal innings especially against KKR as he smashed unbeaten 71 off 29 balls.
Rahane after almost 1.5 years he earned Test call from selector for WTC 2023 final game after seeing his sensation performance with the bat in Ranji Trophy. Rahane was notably, the highest run-scorer for India in WTC 2023 finals and previously, in 2021 also he was the highest run-scorer for his team in WTC finals.
In the upcoming 2023 tour to West Indies, Ajinkya Rahane was again picked as vice-captain and showed his rise despite being out of Indian team for long time since Jan 2022.