India’s ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s critical comments about Ajinkya Rahane’s batting in 50-over format may have raised a lot of eyebrows but the stand-in captain himself has decided to take his senior’s feedback in a “positive manner and move on”.
Rahane was dropped from India’s ODI playing XI for two matches in the series in Bangladesh and Dhoni had said that the Mumbai batsman has “problems in rotating the strike in slow sub-continental conditions. But he was named captain in barely a week’s time.
“Dhoni bhai gave me a feedback and I took it in a positive manner and I have moved on. Bangladesh tour is past for me. My aim is to be more consistent in ODIs as it’s all in the mind,” Rahane told mediapersons at the pre-departure press conference of the Indian cricket team ahead of their short five-match limited overs series in Zimbabwe.
Rahane also said that he did not believe in classifying players into “seniors and juniors”.
“There is nothing called senior or junior in a team. All the 15 players are equally important and they should all believe in their abilities. I have the backing of all the players. As a captain, I have my own set of ideas and will like to back my instincts,” said Rahane, who has already played 15 Tests, 55 ODIs and 11 T20 Internationals for India.
He was all praise for senior pro Harbhajan Singh, who has made a comeback into ODIs after a moderately successful Test comeback against Bangladesh and said that he would seek his advice.
“Bhajjupa (nickname) has been a star performer for India. I am very happy for him and obviously I will seek his advice whenever I need it as he has so much of experience.”
The stylish right-hander is confident that the team would come up trumps and are prepared to put up a good show.
“We always have 100 percent preparation for any tour. We will not like to think about past (Bangladesh) and stick to present moment. We have a very good team. We will do well in Zimbabwe and win the series.”
Asked if he would like to open the batting, Rahane was non-committal in his answer.
“I have opened for Mumbai in ODIs and in T20 cricket for Rajasthan Royals. But this I will decide speaking to the coaches Sanjay Bangar, Bharath Arun and R Sridhar after landing in Zimbabwe.”
On team comprising of mostly young and fringe players, Rahane termed it as an opportunity for those trying to break into the national team.
“It’s a good opportunity for youngsters. All these players have done well in IPL. I am confident about the bunch of doing well in Zimbabwe. We need to get back to the winning habit,” said Rahane.
The Mumbaikar did not clearly say whether not having a regular wicketkeeper can be a difficulty for the team as they have three part-time keepers in Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav.
“It is a difficult question to answer at this moment. I will have a better idea once we land there in Zimbawe.”
With new set of ODI rules coming into effect, Rahane prefers to “wait and watch” as to how it pans out in the long run as it needs a new set of plans to be executed.
“We will have to wait and see. It will be exciting as well as challenging for both batsmen and bowlers. We have to have a new set of plans ready. But we will get to understand what is required once we start playing,” said the stand-in captain.