India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane reiterated his desire to play ODI cricket and said he is ready to bat at any position according to the need of the team. Rahane is trusting his instincts to make an ODI comeback, a format he last played in February 2018.
The 32-year-old Rahane, in the past, has played both as an opener and also in the middle-order. But despite doing well with the bat, he was dropped in 2018 and has since found it difficult to break into the team. However, Rahane is looking at the positives and is mentally preparing himself to play all three formats.
“I am ready to bat at any position in ODI cricket, whether opening or No. 4 or whatever, I am ready. My instinct answers yes, I want to make a comeback in ODI cricket,” Rahane told former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta on an ESPNcricinfo chat show.
“But when the opportunity will come, we don’t know. Mentally I am preparing to play all the formats. It is all about being positive yourself and about your abilities.”
Watch Ajinkya Rahane Chat with Deep Dasgupta:
To make an ODI comeback will be tougher than ever considering the stiff competition. He will be comfortable batting at four but fellow Mumbaikar Shreyas Iyer has secured that spot for now. The team also has a settled opening pair in Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.
“I have enjoyed opening the innings, but I don’t mind batting at number 4 if I am asked to. I have enjoyed both roles,” he said when asked which position he would prefer in ODI cricket.
“It is very hard to suddenly open the innings and adjust to it after you have been batting at No. 4 for a while, which I had done. It is hard to say which position I prefer. I can do well in both,” said Rahane who has played 90 ODIs.
Rahane has also played in 65 Tests, the last being in February earlier this year during the New Zealand tour. He has also not been a part of the Indian T20 team for nearly four years.
Asked about his approach in T20 cricket, he said, “I don’t try and copy anyone in T20 cricket. My cricketing shots are inside out, behind the bowler, and other shots I have developed.
“I think if you are sure of your shots, you should back them. If I am playing 18 overs, I aim to see how I can get my strike rate to 150-160.”
Rahane said it’s important to break down innings in T20 cricket. “For example. if I am batting after sixth over, I have to plan accordingly.”
He said he got advice from the great Rahul Dravid that it does not matter whether a shot looks good or not as long as the runs are coming.
“Sometimes the shots you play in T20s don’t look good. But Rahul bhai told me not to bother about what the shots look like, whether it’s bad or looks bad from outside. He said it does not matter. He said in T20 cricket, one needs to watch the ball and hit it,” he added.