“Best Indian team selected”, Ravi Shastri responds to the criticism to include Ajinkya Rahane to the WTC final squad

The announcement that Ajinkya Rahane will be returning to the Indian Test squad for the WTC final caused quite a stir on social media. Rahane last played for India in January 2022, during the Test tour of South Africa, before being cut from the team and having his central contract with the BCCI terminated a month earlier. 

As a result, cricket fans on Twitter and several seasoned players have criticized the BCCI for selecting Rahane on the strength of his impressive IPL play. Ravi Shastri, a former head coach for India, has made a particularly bombastic statement on the criticism around Rahane’s selection.

Rahane’s last international match for India was a January 2022 Test in Cape Town. Rahane spent his last year out of the team after getting cut from the home fixture. He redirected his attention to domestic cricket, playing for the Mumbai side in both the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Ranji Trophy tournaments, where he amassed 634 runs at 57.63 percent over the course of 11 innings, including two centuries.

Ravi Shastri responds to the decision to bring back Ajinkya Rahane in the WTC final squad

Fans on social media are furious that he was included in the Test squad for the WTC final while he was in unbelievable form in the IPL, smashing sixes and fours at will and scoring 71 off just 29 balls for Chennai Super Kings in their most recent match against KKR. They have questioned the rationale for choosing Rahane.

Shastri responded to the mounting criticism of Rahane’s inclusion on the roster and the decision to play Australia in the WTC final at The Oval by offering his assessment of both.

“Best Indian team selected. Well done selectors and team management #WTCFinal2023 #TeamIndia,” he tweeted along with a photo of the Indian Test team which includes Rahane.

With Rahane back in the lineup, Suryakumar Yadav was benched after he failed to make an impression in his one chance when filling in for an injured Shreyas Iyer during India’s Border-Gavaskar Test series at home. However, the latter can’t compete in the WTC final since he needs surgery on his shoulder. From June 7-11, The Oval will host the final between India and Australia.

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