Ajinkya Rahane was one of the star performers for India in the recently concluded ODI series against Australia and played some brilliant match-winning knocks. He opened the batting with Rohit Sharma and justified his selection in the starting eleven.

Considering the tough competition among Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul for the opening slot, Ajinkya’s brilliant performance came at the right time for the Mumbai batsman.

Presently, Rohit and Dhawan are the first choice openers for India in ODIs, but Rahane has done well in the recent past and KL Rahul is viewed as a future star of Indian batting line-up.

In spite of batting brilliantly against Australia, Ajinkya Rahane was not picked for the T20I series against Australia which came as a shock for many cricket fans around the country. But, Rahane being the gentleman he is, took it in the right spirit and respected selectors’ decision.

“Yes, so much cricket we play, the team management, selectors take a decision and we respect it. Speaking about competition, it is necessary and it helps you to give your best performance. Whoever gets a chance does well for the team. I have always enjoyed the competition (among players),” Rahane told the reporters.

Ajinkya Rahane scored four half-centuries in the recently concluded five-match ODI series against Australia, and made his case for the opening slot even stronger.

“Yes, I am happy. The responsibility and the opportunity I was given, the way I was supposed to bat, I did. Definitely, I am happy with the form I have carried from the West Indies tour, I have made four consecutive fifties,” he explained.

“I could have converted the fifties into hundreds. It was in my mind to contribute, I shared three 100-run stands with Rohit (Sharma) and our aim was to give a good start to the team,” he added.

The Mumbai batsman also said that he would convert the 50s into 100s if he gets a chance.

“In the future series if I get a chance I will convert the 50s into 100s,” he quipped.

“It is a proud moment for all of us. Our aim is 2019 World Cup and we are going in that direction. For that we have to play series by series and match by match, the aim of this team is to win every match and series, and we always try to improve.

“All have performed. In the middle-order Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav, whenever they got opportunity, they have performed. Rohit and Virat (Kohli) have always performed well. Kuldeep (Yadav) and (Yuzvednra) Chahal got a chance and they did well. Our bench strength is good.

“The fact that all of us get a chance and perform is a good sign. If you have to win the 2019 World Cup, then you have to test your bench strength,” Rahane, who cleaned a street near the Mumbai Cricket Association’s Bandra Kurla Complex centre today as part of the cleanliness campaign to mark birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi,” Ajinkya Rahane said.