Ajinkya Rahane on Saturday credited his mental preparation as the key to his success in Tests, ODIs and the ongoing Indian Premier League, in which he is the leading run-getter till date.
“It’s about mental adjustment as the technique remains the same. I focus on my mental aspect. It’s important how you assess the ground and wicket conditions and adjust quickly,” the 26-year-old Rahane, who is representing Rajasthan Royals in the IPL-8, told reporters in Mumbai.
Rahane has notched up 339 runs at 48 plus per innings in nine IPL matches so far. In fact, his success in the shortest format has come after his resounding show for India in Tests in South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia.
The Mumbai-born player, who did not get many chances to play when he was with the Mumbai Indians franchise before switching to Rajasthan Royals, said he tries to keep things simple, besides concentrating on preparing for a match or series.
“I keep my game simple. It’s important for me to practice before every game and series. I just focus on my preparations,” Rahane said while thanking Royals’ team mentor and former India captain Rahul Dravid and his personal coach Pravin Amre.
“I regularly speak to Rahul bhai about my batting, my preparations and the way he used to prepare. He told me to keep my game simple and not to complicate it. ‘The more you keep it simple the more you will be successful’ was his advice and I try to do that. Preparations before every tour is very important and Pravin Sir has told me about this,” said Rahane.
Rahane has been improving in every series since India’s tour of South Africa towards the end of 2013 and said the four months in Australia during the Tests and ODI series, as well as the World Cup, has boosted his confidence level.
“My confidence level has gone up after my stay in Australia over the last four months and the way I played, showing some aggressive cricket even in Tests. That innings (147 not out) I played in Melbourne gave me a lot of confidence. Even in Sydney the 38 not out I made in the second innings was special to me,” said Rahane.
Rahane scored 399 runs at a superb average of 57 in the four-Test series in Australia, which India lost 0-2.
The Mumbaikar singled out his brilliant knock of 103 at Lord’s, which paved the way for India’s stunning 95-run win in the second match and a 1-0 lead before they squandered it and lost the five-Test 1-3, as his most special Test innings.
“I feel the innings I played in England at Lord’s is very special for me as we won the Test match. Scoring a hundred and eventually you win a Test — that really matters,” he said.
Rahane said he talks to his personal coach Amre before and after every game, even during this IPL season, though the latter is part of the Delhi Daredevils’ coaching staff.
“I have been talking to him constantly during India series as well as IPL. He knows my batting very well. We have worked hard together. He was Mumbai coach for 4-5 years. Obviously credit goes to him as well. The small tips he has given me have helped me.”
Rahane did not think Amre being in the rival camp ahead of tomorrow’s game at the Cricket Club of India’s Brabourne Stadium plotting his downfall, as a disadvantage.
“I don’t think that way (about Amre). Even in the last game against Delhi (at the Ferozshah Kotla) I had spoken to him about my batting and he was willing to share his views about my batting,” said Rahane.
Rahane felt playing three out of the last four round robin games at the CCI was a big advantage.
“It’s really exciting playing home games at CCI. I am sure we will do well. We will share information with team members about conditions — wicket and important angles at this ground. The three games at CCI is a home advantage that we want to use in our favour,” he declared.
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