Ajinkya Rahane moves from Rajasthan Royals to Delhi Capitals

What is Ajinkya Rahane thinking? BCCI

Rajasthan Royals have traded Ajinkya Rahane to Delhi Capitals ahead of IPL 2020. The move was confirmed by the IPL and both franchises on Thursday, the final day of the trading window. Rahane has become the second high-profile player to be acquired by the Capitals in the trading window after R Ashwin, and he'll join a line-up that is already top-heavy, with the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer in the top order, with Rishabh Pant to follow.

Rahane is the Royals' most capped player, having played 106 matches for them, with 100 coming in the IPL and six in the Champions League T20. He represented them since 2011, with the exception of the 2016 and 2017 seasons when the team was suspended, and he played for Rising Pune Supergiant. He is also the Royals' leading run-scorer, with 3098 runs for them overall, at an average of 35.60 and a strike rate of 122.30. In the IPL, he scored 2810 runs for them at an average of 34.26 and a strike rate of 122.65.

He captained the Royals in 24 matches, winning nine and losing 15. Rahane had faced some criticism for his strike rate at the top of the order in IPL 2018, when he tallied 370 runs at 28.46 but at a rate of only 118.21. He improved those numbers significantly in IPL 2019, with 393 runs at 32.75 and a strike rate of 137.89, including a 58-ball century against the Capitals.

As part of the trade, the legspinning duo of Mayank Markande and Rahul Tewatia will move from the Capitals to the Royals. That also makes Markande the first player to be traded twice between seasons - having gone to the Capitals from Mumbai Indians earlier.

Markande played only three matches in IPL 2019, losing out on the legspinner's spot to Rahul Chahar in the Mumbai side, taking one wicket and conceding runs at 9.83 per over. He had made his IPL debut with Mumbai in 2018, bursting onto the scene as an unknown and taking 15 wickets that year.

Tewatia played five matches in IPL 2019, but bowled only 6.2 overs overall, picking up two wickets. This move will mark a return for Tewatia to the franchise he started his IPL career with, having been part of the Royals in 2014 and 2015. He was also part of Kings XI Punjab in 2017, before the Capitals secured his services in 2018.

Their addition gives the Royals a surfeit of legspinners, with Shreyas Gopal already in the team.

"Rahul and Mayank are both extremely talented cricketers with a bright future ahead of them. I am confident they will excel at Rajasthan Royals," Delhi Capitals co-owner Parth Jindal said. "I am also extremely honoured to welcome one of India's most stellar and consistent batsmen, Ajinkya Rahane, to the DC family. When the franchise underwent a revamp last year, a decision was made to keep Indian players at its core. The result was there for everyone to see, with the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma performing brilliantly for us, and complimenting the youth that DC has in Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw, among others.

"That thought process has continued for us this time around as well, as is evident in the signing of Ravichandran Ashwin, followed by that of Ajinkya Rahane. I am sure Rahane's wealth of experience, and familiarity with the conditions will help Delhi Capitals go a long way in IPL 2020."

The Royals had used one of their Right to Match cards to buy Rahane for INR 4 crore in the IPL 2018 auctions, following bidding between Kings XI and Mumbai, which Kings XI won. Tewatia had been bought by the Capitals, then Delhi Daredevils, for INR 3 crore, from a base price of INR 20 lakh. Mumbai had bought Markande for his base price of INR 20 lakh.

IPL 2020 trades:
R Ashwin: Kings XI Punjab to Delhi Capitals
Ajinkya Rahane: Rajasthan Royals to Delhi Capitals
Sherfane Rutherford: Delhi Capitals to Mumbai Indians
K Gowtham: Rajasthan Royals to Kings XI Punjab
Trent Boult: Delhi Capitals to Mumbai Indians
Dhawal Kulkarni: Rajasthan Royals to Mumbai Indians
Ankit Rajpoot: Kings XI Punjab to Rajasthan Royals
Rahul Tewatia: Delhi Capitals to Rajasthan Royals
Mayank Markande: Mumbai Indians to Delhi Capitals to Rajasthan Royals