On a day highlighted by the big payday of three superstar international all-rounders – Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, and Cameron Green – veteran Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane was sold for his base price of INR 50 lakhs at the IPL 2023 auction.
34-year-old Ajinkya Rahane was unsurprisingly bought by the Chennai Super Kings, the four-time IPL champions who were on the look-out to replace Robin Uthappa, who retired from the IPL after last season.
Rahane has played in all the IPLs, right from the inaugural season and 2008, has led Rajasthan Royals and been a key member of RR. He’s been part of the Indian Test team for a long time before being dropped ahead this year.
Did Ajinkya Rahane deserve more bidding at IPL 2023 auction?
To be honest, Rahane putting his base price of INR 50 lakh in itself says that even he perhaps wasn’t entirely confident of getting big bids. In the previous auctions, Rahane had kept his base prices at INR 2 crore and 1 crore and had been picked up at his base price.
The simple reason for that, and the lack of interest from franchises in Rahane, is that in the last few IPL seasons, his form and numbers have been on a nosedive.
He has played in only 18 matches in the last three IPL seasons for Delhi Capitals and KKR, scoring averaging around 15 and scoring at a pedestrian strike rate of only 100. Add to it he is no more a part of the Indian Test team. Rahane has barely ever had the T20 game either; he has so much class, but he doesn’t have the T20 power-hitting factor.
So considering all these factors, it was in fact expected that he will be sold for his base price only.
CSK bought him in the IPL 2023 auction and the MS Dhoni-led franchise is banking on his vast experience to play in the middle-order, and in particular to play on the slow, turning track in Chennai. CSK will want Rahane, though, to be a bit more aggressive when they play on better batting surfaces, a role Uthappa did well in in the last two IPL seasons.
CSK squad in IPL 2023 auction:
MS Dhoni (c), Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Mukesh Chowdhary, Devon Conway, Tushar Deshpande, Shivam Dube, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Ravindra Jadeja, Matheesha Pathirana, Dwaine Pretorius, Ambati Rayudu, Mitchell Santner, Subhranshu Senapati, Simarjeet Singh, Prashant Solanki, Maheesh Theekshana, Ajinkya Rahane, Ben Stokes, Shaik Rashee, Nishant Sandhu