With so much of ifs and buts, finally, the Ranji trophy, the actual backbone of Indian cricket was scheduled. If domestic cricket is the empire, Ranji Trophy is the seat of the throne of this empire. And the first day of the most awaited domestic season of Indian cricket was made special by many players playing for their respective teams. But the two performances which brought happiness to Indians were the centuries of the only captain to breach Gabba in 33 years, Ajinkya Rahane, and the U-19 skipper who led Junior Men in Blue to the 5th world cup title.
Continuing his peak form from the U-19 world cup, Yash Dhull played his natural game. Making his debut match in the Ranji trophy memorable, he scored a magnificent century. Coming in as an opener, he played sensibly from one end when at the other end 2 wickets fell in quick succession. From 2 down for 7 for Delhi, he then batted with Nitish Rana and Jonty Siddhu to reach the landmark.
His century, and useful contribution of 71 runs, and Lalit Yadav's not out innings of 45 runs have led helped Delhi to end the day for 291/7. Yash Dhull is one of those players who doesn't get affected by the wickets falling from one end. He did that in the World cup too in the first match against South Africa, as well as in the semi-final against Australia. With the century on his Ranji Trophy debut, Dhull made it to the elite list of Sachin Tendulkar, Prithwi Shaw and a few others who had achieved this feat earlier.
While on one hand, the junior skipper made his impact, the senior member of Men in Blue in red-ball cricket, Ajinkya Rahane's return to form was a sight to behold for Indian fans. In the past few weeks, his form was a matter of concern for India. Although he had small but important cameos for the team, barring his hundred at MCG, there were no big scores from him. The almost fixed members of the India red ball team Rahane and his counterpart Cheteshwar Pujara were given an ultimatum by BCCI and were told to be back to Ranji trophy squads for the moment. And a century coming from the man who had a century at Lord's, had kind of rejuvenated the hearts of Indian cricket lovers.
His coach had already stated that Rahane was looking terrific in the nets. And proving him right, Jinx broke his jinx of low scores and reached the three-figure mark. Playing against Cheteshwar Pujara's Saurashtra, with his team losing 3 wickets Rahane and Sarfaraz Khan stood firm and launched the attack on former Ranji trophy winners. It was a treat to watch the crunchy drives coming from the middle of Rahane's bat. The innings displayed his confidence and his elegance, and he would like to carry forward the confidence ahead for the entire season as well as for India when he gets to play again. Also in the same match, it will be a treat to watch if Pujara scores a century and finds his form back.
While India rejoices the fact that the star in making Dhull made it to a remarkable century, fans know he has a long way to go. Meanwhile, the star of Indian middle order particularly in tests, the only captain to breach the historic Gabba, and the man having centuries in all the SENA countries, Ajinkya Rahane's return to form is a great sign, considering his experience, considering what he has done for the Men in Blue and what he can do even further. Therefore, one would wish Yash Dhull all the best to continue his form and make it to the senior team. And the team would wish Rahane and Pujara get back in the groove yet again and continue their form in Ranji, eventually, to dominate the world-class bowlers yet again to win India matches.
Authored By:- Ashwin Jangam ( Cricket Analyst, Host and Entertainer)
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