Ajinkya Rahane may have scored a hundred in the just concluded one-day series against Sri Lanka, but his place in the eleven will definitely be under threat the next time India play a one-day match. He may be a permanent fixture in the Test team. However, the same cannot be said about his spot in one-dayers. With Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Rahane battling for the opening slot, we now have a three-way tussle for the opening positions, which is good news for Indian cricket.
Of the three, Rahane has fallen behind in the race at the moment. He may have hit a hundred, but his performance in the other matches was below par. As he has often done in his one-day career, Rahane often got starts but couldn't carry on. Rahane right now averages in the early 30s to late 20s, which does not do a lot of justice to his talent. Rahane has been unlucky to not have had a consistent one day career, but it is also true that he hasn't utilised his opportunities.
When the Sri Lankan series began, there was still plenty of uncertainty over who India's openers for one dayers would be. Shikhar Dhawan hadn't yet hit prime form, but the Sri Lanka series has changed it all. Dhawan smashed one hundred and two fifties in the two games, and has pretty much sealed his place in the team for Australia. It was surprising how Dhawan was rested for the last two games of the series. After all, it was after a very long time than Dhawan had actually returned to form. He could have done with a couple of more good knocks.
Rohit Sharma has also outdone Rahane though he only featured in two games in the series. Rohit was returning from a two-month injury lay off, and would have been expected to take time to get back into the groove. However, Rohit smashed a record-breaking double hundred during his very first comeback match. No one expected Rohit to play such a sensational knock, but the manner in which he broke most records was unbelievable. The innings also put Rohit ahead of Rahane when it came to claiming the opening slot. With Dhawan also having established himself earlier, Rahane is now on the back foot.
--By A Cricket Analyst