IPL Final: Shedding Off Ajinkya Rahane’s ‘Anchor’ Tag Helped Him Flourish: Stephen Fleming


Ajinkya Rahane played a key role in Chennai Super Kings‘ title-winning campaign in IPL 2023. The batter scored 326 runs in 14 matches at an average of which is way better than his career strike rate of 123.42 in the IPL. He played a crucial innings in the final as well scoring 23 off 13 balls at a strike rate of 207.69.

The prime feature of Ajinkya Rahane’s IPL 2023 campaign was his strike rate. He scored two fifties this season both of which came in less than 30 deliveries. He scored 61 off 27 balls against Mumbai Indians and 71 * off29 balls against KKR.

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Speaking to PTI, CSK coach Stephen Fleming opened up on Rahane’s campaign this season and spoke about his transition as a T20 batter. Fleming said Rahane did well because CSK took away the burden of ‘anchor’ from the right-hander.

We Got Rid Of The Tag Of Ajinkya Rahane Who WOuld Just Bat Through: Stephen Fleming

“My understanding is that we got rid of the tag of being the guy you bat around or bat through. I think that maybe hung over his (Rahane’s) head a little bit too much and didn’t allow him to be the player that he can be. And once that tag was gone, when I turned up halfway through the pre-season training, I saw a guy who was in magnificent form,” Fleming told PTI after the conclusion of IPL 2023.

IPL 2023 | India National Cricket Team Chennai Super Kings (CSK) | Delhi Capitals (DC) | Gujarat Titans (GT) | Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) | Lucknow Supergiants (LSG) | Mumbai Indians (MI) | Punjab Kings (PBKS) | Rajasthan Royals (RR) | Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) | SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH)

Ajinkya Rahane Wasn’t In Our Initial Thoughts

He further spoke about his innings against Mumbai Indians that made him a regular in the side for CSK. He scored those runs at a healthy strike rate and from there on scored quick runs in every single game that he played.

“He wasn’t in our initial thoughts, but the game in Mumbai was really defining. It was one of our best wins in the tournament and he was the big catalyst behind it, so he cemented that No.3 spot. He has been unwavering the whole way through he’s been nothing but positive, his nets have been positive,” Fleming concluded.

Ajinkya Rahane was released by KKR ahead of the IPL 2023 auction after scoring just 133 runs in the IPL 2022 season with them. He was in and out of the side as well. CSK roped in Rahane for 50 lakhs in the IPL 2023 mini-auction. He will now join the Indian team for the WTC final against Australia in the UK.

Also Read: IPL Final: “This Was Some Final…”- Mooen Ali Amazed After Winning IPL, Credits MS Dhoni For CSK’s Triumph

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