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Monday, March 08, 2021

‘We don’t lay everything bare’: Ajinkya Rahane on England players’ IPL familiarity

Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler have earlier shared the Rajasthan Royals dressing-room with Ajinkya Rahane. Moeen Ali was Virat Kohli’s teammate at Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Kolkata |
Updated: February 4, 2021 1:12:48 pm
Ajinkya Rahane walks from the field with teammate Jasprit Bumrah. (AP)

The IPL camaraderie between players from different countries has bred familiarity. That at least is the common perception. Players of different nationalities share the dressing-room of their respective franchises, turn up at the nets together, and get acquainted with each other’s methods and tricks. Not quite. As Ajinkya Rahane said, the camaraderie has a caveat.

“It’s not that we lay bare everything, that’s very important,” Rahane told reporters during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.

India and England will embark on a marquee four-Test series from Friday. Five players in the England Test squad for the first two Tests have been IPL regulars – Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes (he opted out last season), Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler. From the tourists’ point of view, all of them are expected to play important roles in the Test series and they know Indian conditions well. Stokes, Archer and Buttler have earlier shared the Rajasthan Royals dressing-room with Rahane. Ali was Virat Kohli’s team mate at Royal Challengers Bangalore. But as Rahane said, the players are smart enough to draw a line in terms of expertise sharing.

Also, Rahane pointed out that the IPL experience hardly counts for much in a Test series in India.

“See, we definitely play in the IPL, but Test cricket and IPL are poles apart. We know how their bowlers bowl in Indian conditions, but as I said, lengths are completely different in Test cricket and white-ball cricket. Yes, we have played a lot of cricket together but when you are representing your country, it’s all about giving your best individually and as a team.”

Compared to other countries, England players were a bit late to get warmed up to the IPL, but over the past few years they have been coming en masse. Last year, 10 England players were involved. And as Stokes had said during the tournament, it was more about picking the brains rather than sharing cricket secrets.

“IPL is an amazing learning curve and you get to play alongside and against some of the best players in the world. You get to pick their brains,” the allrounder told PTI.

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