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There is still a lot of cricket left in me: Ajinkya Rahane

Last updated on 11 Jul 2023 | 05:50 AM
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There is still a lot of cricket left in me: Ajinkya Rahane

The right-handed batter also shared insights on his role as the vice-captain and the changes he has incorporated in the last three months

After falling agonisingly short in the summit clash of the World Test Championship last month, India are all set to kickstart the new cycle with an away series against West Indies starting July 12. 

The Rohit Sharma-led-outfit landed in the Caribbean nation in the first week of July and underwent gruelling hours of preparation ahead of the opening Test in Dominica

"We have had good preparation. We played a nice practice match. We, as a team, respect West Indies. They are not the ones to be taken lightly," said Ajinkya Rahane in a pre-match press conference. 

"West Indies has performed well at home during the last couple of years or so, especially in Tests. We are looking to give our 100 per cent and backing our gameplan and strengths."

India have opted for a new-look batting order in the absence of Cheteshwar Pujara, with Yashashwi Jaiswal likely to make his debut and slot in at number three. 

"I am so happy for Jaiswal. He has worked so hard, scored runs for Mumbai in domestic cricket and the IPL. He is an exciting talent, and the way he is batting is nice."

"My message to him is that he expresses himself while batting, plays with freedom and does not think much about the fact that he is playing international cricket. It's all about going out in the middle and playing your game, playing with freedom which is very important," he further added.

The right-handed batter made a comeback to the Test side for the final of the WTC against Australia in June and has also been reappointed as the vice-captain of the side for the two Test matches against the Windies. 

"There is still a lot of cricket left in me. Definitely, the IPL season was pretty good, and I had a very good domestic season as well. Batting-wise, I am feeling quite confident. In the last year and a half, I have worked quite a bit on my fitness."

"I have worked on some areas of my batting as well. I am enjoying my cricket and my batting at the moment. I don't want to think far ahead. As of now, every match is important - personally and from the team's point of view as well. I am focusing on that."

"I am used to this role. I was the vice-captain for almost 4-5 years, but I am really happy to be back in the team and really happy to be back as the vice-captain," he further added. 

On being quizzed on what has changed for him in the last three months after his splendid performance for Chennai and a crucial half-century in the final, Rahane asserted, "Nothing has changed."

"In the IPL, CSK gave me freedom. You are given a role as a player, and you try to fulfil it. Earlier, my role was to play as an anchor, so I was playing accordingly."

"CSK told me to play with freedom and play my natural game. Actually, my game is about stroke play. I always look to score runs. Just the role has changed, nothing else."

"I have always believed that the role the team has given me, I have to fulfil that. Here, whatever role Rohit Sharma gives me, I will try to fulfil that," he concluded. 

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