After being excluded from the Test side in February 2022, Rahane adopted a mindset of finding joy in the game without setting any specific expectations.
"There were a few points in my batting that I've worked on. I'm enjoying my cricket a lot, enjoying my batting. I'm not thinking too much into the future. Every game is important, personally and also from the team point of view. I'm focusing on just that," he added.
Rahane's exceptional run in first-class cricket between September 2022 and February 2023, with three centuries and a half-century, demonstrated his readiness to fill any vacant spot in the team. When the call came for the WTC final, Rahane was already making waves in the IPL, capitalizing on the opportunity to display his boundary-hitting skills.
Acknowledging his evolving role within the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team, Rahane affirmed his ability to adapt and fulfill the responsibilities assigned to him. Whether playing as an anchor or adopting a more aggressive approach, he remains a natural stroke-maker focused on scoring runs for the team's cause.
"Nothing has changed," Rahane insisted when asked of this latest turn in his career. "CSK gave me a role, and you try to fulfil that role. Prior to that, my role was of an anchor, [and] I played according to that. CSK told me, 'You have freedom, go out and play according to that'. I'm actually a stroke-maker, I always look for runs. The role has changed, nothing else has changed. I've always said I'll fulfil the role the team gives me. That's what I'm focusing on."
The WTC final marked Rahane's first match under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, a long-time teammate from their Mumbai cricketing days. Praising Rohit's leadership, Rahane appreciates the freedom and support he receives from the skipper.
Having previously served as vice-captain for almost five years, Rahane is delighted to be back in the team, complementing Rohit's captaincy.
"The role Rohit gives me, I'll fulfil that. Playing under Rohit is great," Rahane said. "He gives freedom to the players, and then backs them. They're signs of a great captain. I'm feeling good. We share a great equation. I'm used to this role [as vice-captain]. I did the job for almost five years, but I'm really happy to be back in the team. Really happy to be back as vice-captain."">