Rahane ahead of Adelaide Test: India’s vice-captain spoke against taking the hosts lightly in the four-match Test series.
India vice-captain and middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane is confident of India’s chances in the imminent Test series against Australia. Speaking in the press conference a couple of days ahead of the first match at Adelaide, Rahane laid emphasis on starting the series afresh.
“It’s important to start afresh in each and every series,” Rahane said. I personally feel that we learnt a lot in England and South Africa. There were areas to improve. But, I think when you tour abroad, it is important to start well [and fresh]. For us, it is important to focus on the controllable and our strengths. We’ve had a couple of good practice sessions [along with a match],” he further said.
In the four Tests which Rahane played during India’s tour of Australia in 2014, he scored 399 runs at an average of 57 and a strike rate of 63.53. A century and a couple of half-centuries saw him building some vital partnerships during the series. One of which was a 262-run for the fourth wicket between him and current captain Virat Kohli.
Recalling the same partnership, Rahane spoke of how both of them were aggressive albeit in different ways. “Last time, both of us enjoyed a lot batting together, especially at the MCG. Mitchell Johnson was going at Virat Kohli and I was enjoying at the other end and playing my game.
“As an individual, you have to understand that each and everyone is different. Virat was really aggressive. He was going at the bowlers, not just with the bat but verbally as well. For me, it helped me a lot to focus on my game. I was playing my natural [attacking] game but was completely opposite,” Rahane was quoted.
While a lot of former cricketers have opined with respect to India starting the series as ‘favourites’, Rahane believes of the otherwise. Rahane went to add that the current Australian team is not ‘vulnerable’ at all.
“[On being asked about India staring the series as favourites] Not really. I feel that teams at home is really good. I feel Australia are still the favorites to win this series. We are not going to take them lightly. Yes, they will miss Steven Smith and David Warner but I don’t think they are vulnerable. They have got a good bowling attack. When you have to win a Test series, you got to have a good bowling attack,” he added.
While Rahane said that Australia will miss Smith and Warner, he was also aware of the fact that they have other batsmen who are ‘equally dangerous’. “Smith and Warner are quality players. Not going to take anything away from them but on a given day anyone can score.
“Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch are equally dangerous. In their conditions, they know how the wicket behaves. It’s all about intent as a batsman. We have to stick to our strength, give respect to them and play to out potential,” India’s vice-captain concluded.
Read some of the latest Twitter reactions on Rahane below:
— Channel NewsAsia (@ChannelNewsAsia) December 4, 2018
— The Field (@thefield_in) December 4, 2018
For me most interesting format of cricket is #TESTCricket. And this is going to Begin from Adelaide. So why not pick your XI.
**Jadeja if its a turning pitch.@bhogleharsha
— Santosh Kanyal (@SantoshKanyal12) November 30, 2018
— cricketnext (@cricketnext) December 4, 2018