Ajinkya Rahane to return to Test team ahead of WTC Final

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India’s 15-man squad for the World Test Championship match against Australia, which will begin on June 7, includes Ajinkya Rahane.

The 34-year-old former captain was benched after the 2021–22 South African tour following a lengthy streak of poor performances, but injuries to important players and his own outstanding performance in the ongoing IPL 2023 have provided him with a path to recovery.

In a fairly forgettable Ranji Trophy 2022–23 season, Rahane led Mumbai in runs scored, with 634 runs, including two centuries, but his team was unable to advance past the group round. 

Rahane found a new pace to his innings when playing for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, and as of the team announcement, he had smashed 209 runs in five innings.

Rahane may be the favourite once he rejoins the India team to fill Shreyas Iyer’s injury-forced absence from the middle order. KS Bharat continues to serve as the team’s lone keeper after making a few mistakes throughout that series. Ishan Kishan has nowhere to go, so Rahul takes over as backup keeper-bat.

The fourth spinner in their team, Kuldeep Yadav, has been replaced by Shardul Thakur, a seam-bowling all-rounder who, coincidentally, scored two half-centuries in India’s victory over England at this venue in 2021. This is because the final set will be played in the early UK summer.

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