India went into the must-win game with 3 changes - Rahane, Mohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav replaced by Ambati Rayudu, Axar Patel and Dhawal Kulkarni. India lost the opening clash by 79 runs and need to win today to stay alive in the 3-match series. (Fans angry with Dhoni)
While Mohit and Umesh proved expensive in the opening clash at the same venue and were expected to face the axe, it was a bolt from the blue to see Rahane excluded.
The Mumbai batsman made 9 runs in the first ODI but has been one of the best batsmen for the team in recent times. In 55 ODIs, he averages just over 30 with 1,593 runs (2 hundreds, 9 half centuries).
Former India batsman VVS Laxman said he was surprised to see 27-year-old Rahane not playing in today's game.
Another former cricketer Aakash Chopra too was not impressed with the call and wanted to know what is the reason behind the move. However, Sanjay Manjrekar, the cricketer turned commentator agreed with all 3 changes.
Not only were former players surprised but also Indian fans. Some of them questioned Dhoni for backing out-of-form Ravindra Jadeja over Rahane.
Whether Rahane was dropped on form or due to injury, the team management needs to clarify.
Here are some of the reactions from Twitter over Rahane's exclusion
Rahane benched? Well...shall wait to hear about the reason. I'm surprised to say the least #BanvsInd— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) June 21, 2015
There must be a very strong reason for leaving out Ajinkya Rahane.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 21, 2015
Wth is wrong with the selectors /dhoni who dropped rahane..I mean common yaaar...raydu over rahane is such a horrible decision— Esha Viratian*_* (@OhMyKohli_18) June 21, 2015
Dropping Rahane is dumbness.— Funnily Serious (@notionalview) June 21, 2015
Like many I still can't understand the logic behind dropping Rahane and consistent failure Jadeja is still playing. #BANvIND— #SaveMyTwisha (@muralinaaga) June 21, 2015
Perhaps the best ODI knock by an Indian in 2015 came from Ajinkya Rahane - 79 in 60 balls vs South Africa at the MCG Today dropped! #BanvInd— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) June 21, 2015
Everybody is busy blaming Jadeja.. What about Rohit.. Drop him.. Let Rahane open with Shikhar.. and let Rayudu replace him in the middle.— Gautam (@gautambalgi) June 21, 2015
So dhoni decides 2 drop Ajinkya Rahane but keeps jadeja,Axar patel,R sharma in d side.can't get more foolish & rubbish than this! #BanvsInd— yogesh giri (@yogesh27speaks) June 21, 2015
Ravindra Jadeja Still Gets a Chance But Ajinkya Rahane dropped!!! #BanvsInd— shubham sharma (@shubham3150) June 21, 2015
Jadeja playing on what basis?#rahane— Daljinder Singh (@Daljinder29) June 21, 2015
Rahane dropped?? Its ok Dhoni. BTW after some months you will be out of ICT forever & rahane will be the VC that time. Just wait n watch— Rahul Bangistani (@IamRB19) June 21, 2015
Still people blaming MSD for dropping Rahane. He picked someone who did well at that position so why to blame him?— Mubarak Asraf. (@CricLogue) June 21, 2015
I seriously dont get why ravindra jadeja is in team and why was rahane dropped?— Prashant Nayyar (@PrshNayyar) June 21, 2015