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Ajinkya Rahane has made his case strong as he looks to consolidate his place in India’s playing XI in the limited overs cricket. Being the highest run-scorer in the just-concluded five-match ODI series against West Indies, Rahane feels he is ready to bat at any given position and will look to give his 100 percent.
“See, what is going to happen in the future we don’t know. This series will give me a lot of confidence especially for the ODI and shorter format. If the team management thinks I should bat at No.4 or at No.1 and 2 then I will always be giving my 100 percent on that. I am not sure what is going to happen in the future, but I always like to give my best in ODI and T20 formats. I am looking forward to doing well consistently in ODI format,” said Rahane.
“I actually batted at No.4. Even at World Cup I batted at No.4, scored against South Africa, so I know how to handle batting at Nos.3, 4 and 5. It is not a big issue but we’ll have to wait and watch and see what’s going to happen,” he added.
Rahane was in India’s 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy but with Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan providing India solid starts, there was not much room for the 29-year old. But with his performances against West Indies, he has justified the faith his skipper and the team management showed in him. The right-handed batsman has scored 336 runs in five innings.
Rahane, who enjoys expressing himself with the bat, said, “This series was really important for me as I got a chance after some time. I didn’t play the ICC Champions Trophy. We came here. Virat told me you are going to play all the games. So actually I was looking forward to that. I didn’t want to put pressure on myself. I just wanted to enjoy myself in the middle. I took my time. When we came here, we had a couple of practice sessions and even in England I was batting well (in the nets). So I just had to make it count as I mentioned but importantly I wanted to express myself with the bat.”
Talking about the mental switch from one format to another he said, “We play so many formats, it is completely a mental switch. Talking about the wicket and their team, I feel if we focus on our game and on our abilities then I don’t think we need to focus on anything else. Right now, guys are focusing on playing tomorrow. We should see what are the areas we should focus on.”
When asked about Chris Gayle’s return and what kind of pressure his presence can put on the Virat Kohli-led side, he said, “Chris Gayle is not the only player in the side. They have got 11 players. We are not focusing on Chris Gayle. Our team is important and as I mentioned earlier, we are thinking about our strengths rather than about their strategies, their positives or their teams. Yes, we all respect Chris Gayle, he is a dangerous player. On a given day, he can change the game for their team. Right now, it is important to focus on our game and back our team in the middle.”