Ajinkya Rahane, India Test team, cricket, WTC final
Rahane played last of his 82 Tests in January 2022, against South Africa in Cape Town.

Batting too slow? Here is what Rahane has to say about snide remarks

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Indian Test cricket team’s vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane dismissed criticism against him and Cheteshwar Pujara for “slow batting” during the Lord’s Test.

“I am happy that people are talking about me. I have always believed that people talk about important people, so I am not too concerned about that. It’s all about contributing to the team,” Rahane said ahead of the third Test in Headingly Cricket Ground in Leeds on Wednesday.

Rahane (61 off 146 balls) and Pujara (45 off 206) took nearly 50 overs to add 100 runs in their partnership in the second innings of the Test match.

Rahane also said that everything, including playing for the country motivates him, and he is not bothered about criticism.

Also read: India script 151-run win against England at Lord’s

Pujara took 35 balls to get off the mark at Lords but his slow innings along with that of Rahane’s eventually did not hurt India, with the visitors winning the match by a whopping 151 runs.

“I always believed in contribution and that contribution was satisfying…. You think about your own game but team performance is ultimate. You think about your methods, your good innings and what suits you but ultimately whatever team needs we focus on that,” Rahane said.

“The communication was all about short targets and build it on from there. Cheteshwar, we always talk that he plays slow but that innings was really important for us. He batted for 200 balls. We back each other,” Rahane said, on being asked about his discussion with Pujara in the middle.

“Cheteshwar and I have been playing for long, we know how to handle pressure, how to handle certain situations. Whatever we cannot control, we are not thinking about that,” Rahane said.

Headingley will be an unknown territory for the current Indian team since none of the players has the experience of playing there. But for Rahane, that is not something that is worrying the side. “It’s not challenging really. When you get the rhythm, it’s about maintaining it and just being confident about yourself,” Rahane said.

“When you are playing in the UK, your line and lengths are very important and that’s a challenge as a bowling unit. In 2014 when we came here, we were a young unit, the guys were still learning. Now we are experienced. All the bowlers have played all over the world; they know how to bowl in certain situations. We focussed on bowling in right areas,” Rahane said, adding that in England it is about finding your rhythm as a batsman and as a bowler.

Also read: Then Gabba, now Lord’s, India grow indestructible by the day

The Lord’s Test saw verbal duels from both sides. Asked if mental disintegration of rival players is important, Rahane did not agree.

“We are not thinking anything like that. For us, it is important to stay in the moment. Whatever happened in the last game we just have to forget and just take the positives. Every game is important due to the Championships (WTC),” the vice-captain said.

Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah did the unthinkable when they added 89 runs for the unbeaten ninth wicket when India was reduced to 209/8. That stand took the game away from England.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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