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Back among the runs, Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane insists that his hunger to perform and deliver has kept him motivated during the dry patch. Back-to-back three fifties against West Indies which includes a match-winning hundred in the second ODI has given a boost to the right-handed batsman.
“When I was not playing in Champions Trophy, I was focusing on my fitness as well as my batting. When we came here, I was hungry, I wanted to do well,” he told ANI after India’s 93-run win in the third ODI that gave the visitors a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
With Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan pair providing India with brisk starts in the Champions Trophy, Rahane was on the sidelines for the whole of the ICC tournament. But with Rohit excluded from the squad for West Indies tour, Rahane has made the full use of the opportunity and has scored 237 runs in three ODIs in Caribbean.
“I was batting well in the nets, here as well as in England. So, I wanted to make it count and I am really hungry at the moment and looking forward to do well,” he said.
The 29-year old batsman credits the Indian skipper and the team management for giving him the opportunity to bat at the top of the order. “I would like to thank Virat (Kohli) and team management that they gave me this opportunity to bat at the top of the order. When I was in England, I really worked hard on my fitness and I am happy all that hard work is paying off here,’ he added.
On his match-winning knock of 103, where he also became the only second Indian batsman to score a hundred against West Indies at their home after former captain Rahul Dravid, Indian Vice Captain said that he wanted to make his knock count.
When asked about his Trinidad century, he said, “It was a perfect knock. Even before that game, I got 62 runs and I was batting really well. So, in the second game I really wanted to make it count.”
Fitness has been an area where the Indian team has been focusing on. Rahane feels as professional athletes the Indian team is taking care of it.
“Fitness is very important. Right after Australia series, we played IPL and then came back to UK and then here. So, we have to take care of our fitness as professional athletes. This team is really focused and disciplined. We all think about our sleeping times and eating habits as well,” he concluded.