Ajinkya Rahane is someone who knows how to find a silver lining in everything, including his exclusion from India’s limited overs team. On India’s previous tour to England, Ajinkya Rahane had helped the Indian team secure a victory over England at Lords by scoring a match-winning century. He believes that being neglected for the ODI format of the game will, in fact, give him more time to prepare for the longer format of the game.
During the CEAT Cricket Awards, Rahane told the reporters,” It is important that you get time to prepare yourself and clarity is important when you know that you are not in ODI squad and you are just going to play Test matches in England. I will get a good amount of time for the Afghanistan test and after that for England tour.”
When asked about even the slightest of the frustration for not being in the squad, he answered, “No, I am not at all frustrated, actually the thing is, I can tell you, this is motivating me, because I am actually looking to make a comeback. Right now, my focus on Test cricket. I still believe that I can come back and do well in shorter formats with Worldcup coming up.”
Rahane says that despite the odds against his favor, he can make a come back into the squad, knowing that he has faded out of the radar.
He further said,” I still believe in myself. I did well in ODI cricket whenever I got my opportunities. In West Indies, I got man of the series award (with 4 fifties). Against Australia, I did really well. In South Africa, the management asked me to bat at Number 4 and I did well, so it is just a matter of time. I am still confident that I will make a comeback and do well for my country in the shorter format.”
Ajinkya Rahane on his views on the English side
WIth Pakistan having walloped England in the first test at Lord’s, the pressure would be on the Indian side to dominate the English attack by hook or by crook and Rahane feels that Indian team has got what it takes to decimate them in their home conditions in their five-match test series.
When asked about England’s pitiful defeat at the hands of the visitors Rahane said,” It is very hard to judge right now. Playing in England at their own backyard is always a challenge. Yes, Pakistan played very well. They bowled and batted well but there is still some time to go for our series. We can’t take England for granted as they can come back anytime.”
Before the commencement of the England series, Rahane would be captaining the Indian side against Afghanistan in a single match test at Bengaluru from 14th June. The right arm batsman said,” Right now, our focus should be on Afghanistan test match and then think about England. We can by no means take Afghanistan lightly. The World accepts and respects Rashid Khan as a quality bowler. Whether in life or cricket, nothing can be taken for granted.”
Finally, when the reporters asked him about any tactics that the Indian side might deploy against the English side he said,” England’s strength is their quality all-rounders. We have to take one game at a time. We have the team to do well abroad, especially in England and Australia.”
“I always believe that the first match of the series is always important. If you get that momentum early in the series, then you can actually dominate your opponent,” said the Indian vice-captain of the test squad.
How Kohli’s men take on the star-studded England unit is something that would be worth witnessing.