Ajinkya Rahane, born on June 6, 1988, rose through the ranks after playing a lot of age group cricket before eventually turning out for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. He was a prolific scorer at the domestic level and was only the 11th player to have scored more than 1,000 runs in a single edition of the Ranji Trophy. He represented India at the Under-19 level and played for Mumbai and Rajasthan in the IPL. He was selected to play for India in the Emerging Players Trophy in Australia and shot into the limelight with two hundreds in that tournament.
Those impressive performances earned him a berth in the Indian ODI squad on the tour of England in 2011. He opened the innings in the ODIs and impressed a lot of pundits with his fearless intent and stroke-play, and has been pretty decent in the opportunities that he has got so far. Rahane then, made his Test debut against Australia in Delhi in 2013. When India toured South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia, it was Rahane who shone brightly in the Test arena.
He has also been a fine performer in IPL. He scored a ton against Bangalore in the 2012 edition of the IPL and ended the season with more than 500 runs. Rahane was equally impressive in the 2013 edition of IPL. He began by scoring three consecutive half-centuries at home and amassed a total of 488 runs.
Rahane though, has had his fair share of ups and downs in his career. He didn't do well in his first Test against Australia. He was in and out of the ODI side as well. He was recalled to the ODI squad for Pakistan's tour of India in 2013 before being dropped again after failing to impress against a visiting England set-up. Rahane became a regular member of the ODI unit side since the South African tour in late 2013 and had a decent outing in the Asia Cup.
The national selectors then roped him into the squad for the longest format of the game after the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar. Rahane did well both against South Africa and New Zealand, scoring a hundred and a fifty in Wellington and Durban, respectively. On expected lines, Rajasthan retained him for the 2014 edition of the IPL after his fantastic show.
He was one of the few Indian batsmen to score quality runs on the tour of England in 2014. He tackled James Anderson & Co. very wisely and also recorded a match-winning hundred at Lord's on a green top. He continued the good work in the subsequent ODI series as well. Although not managing to score heavily against West Indies and Sri Lanka, he scored a hundred and a fifty in seven matches.
Rahane had a good 2014-15 Border-Gavaskar Trophy Down Under, during which he registered a fine hundred in Melbourne. He scored 399 runs in the four-match Test series.
Rahane scored only one fifty in the 2015 World Cup, a swashbuckling 79 against South Africa that was widely appreciated. Although he got the starts in the rest of the tournament, he could never really capitalize on it. While Rahane continues to be a fringe member of the One-Day squad, he has gone on to become the Mr. Reliable in the Test team.
His 126 played a massive role in India drawing parity against Sri Lanka at the P Sara Oval during the 2015 tour, his twin hundreds condemned South Africa to a 3-0 demolition in Delhi . He then followed it up with a hundred in Jamaica before making a career-best 188 to light up Indore's maiden Test, against New Zealand in 2016.