Ajinkya Rahane open to bat at any position: The Indian Test vice-captain is keen to add to his tally of 90 ODIs for India.
India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane might not be your archetype T20 batsman but has done well enough in the format to prove that he is no slouch. In 140 IPL matches, Rahane has scored 3,820 runs at an average of 32.93 and a strike rate of 121.92 including two centuries and 27 half-centuries.
Speaking to former India wicket-keeper batsman Deep Dasgupta on ESPNcricinfo’s videocast, Rahane opened up on not emulating anyone in the format and revealed receiving a suggestion from former India captain Rahul Dravid.
“I don’t try and copy anyone in T20 cricket. My cricketing shots are inside out, behind the bowler, and other shots I have developed. I think if you are sure of your shots, you should back them. If I am playing 18 overs, I aim to see how I can get my strike rate to 150-160.
So nice to see that cricket is back!
Good luck to both the teams!
Can’t wait to get back on the field again#ENGvWI
— Ajinkya Rahane (@ajinkyarahane88) July 8, 2020
“Sometimes the shots you play in T20s don’t look good. But Rahul [Dravid] bhai told me not to bother about what the shots look like, whether it’s bad or looks bad from outside. He said it does not matter. He said in T20 cricket, one needs to watch the ball and hit it,” Rahane told Dasgupta.
Had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic, the 13th season of the Indian Premier League would have been worth-watching for Rahane has he was all set to represent Delhi Capitals after spending seven seasons (in two stints) at Rajasthan Royals.
Ajinkya Rahane open to bat at any position to make ODI comeback
Rahane, who last played an ODI during the tour of South Africa in 2018 and has sought more chances in the format previously, laid emphasis on being ready to bat at any position to play white-ball cricket at the highest level once again.
“I am ready to bat at any position in ODI cricket, whether opening or No. 4 or whatever, I am ready. My instinct answers yes, I want to make a comeback in ODI cricket.
“But when the opportunity will come, we don’t know. Mentally I am preparing to play all the formats. It is all about being positive yourself and about your abilities,” Rahane said.
In his last 10 ODIs, Rahane had scored 379 runs at an average of 47.37 and a strike rate of 82.03 including five consecutive half-centuries. However, his inability to play the big shots at will and convert his starts into match-winnings innings worked against him.
Rahane, who turned 32 last month, has scored 1,937 runs at an average of 36.54 and a strike rate of 77.23 including three centuries and 15 half-centuries in 54 matches as an ODI opener. Apart from opening the batting, Rahane has played the most at No. 4 in ODIs. In 25 innings at the position, he has scored 843 runs at an average of 36.65 and a strike rate of 83.71 including six half-centuries.
“I have enjoyed opening the innings, but I don’t mind batting at number 4 if I am asked to. I have enjoyed both roles. It is very hard to suddenly open the innings and adjust to it after you have been batting at No. 4 for a while, which I had done. It is hard to say which position I prefer. I can do well in both,” Rahane added.