The 27-year-old Mumbai batsman has forced his way into the final 15 for next month’s World Twenty20 on home soil but is unlikely to play a major role in the hosts’ bid for a second 20-over World title under Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have locked up the opening slots, followed batting by Virat Kohli and t20 specialist Suresh Raina.
“When both the openers perform well, it makes life slightly difficult for the skipper,” the India captain told reporters on Tuesday.
“Rahane, at the end of the day, is a fantastic player but you also have to consider the fact that in Twenty20, he is somebody who has done really well when he is opening the batting.
“If you look at the team we have got for the Twenty20 World Cup, you find it difficult to find a place for him.”
Rahane has a strike rate of 114 in T20 Internationals and is among the rare batsmen who can score freely and still not offend the purists with his shot-making.
Dhoni rates Rahane among the top three Indian batsmen in IPL but is against tinkering with a well-settled batting lineup for the March 8-April tournament.
Rahane was in great form in australia and showed his class against sri lanka in last t20 match and he can drives india through the inning when india in difficult conditions.