Home > News >

Ajinkya Rahane: Ravi Shastri’s tips helped me in converting starts

Ajinkya Rahane (right) and Shikhar Dhawan shared a 183-run opening stand at Edgbaston © Getty Images
Ajinkya Rahane (right) and Shikhar Dhawan shared a 183-run opening stand at Edgbaston © Getty Images

By Chetan Narula

Leeds: Sep 4, 2014

Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane joined the bandwagon of Indian players, who have attributed Team Director Ravi Shastri for bringing about a turnaround in team’s fortunes with his technical inputs in the ongoing One-Day International (ODI) series after their dismal show in the Test matches.

Suresh Raina, Shikhar Dhawan have already paid glowing tributes to the former India all-rounder for his contribution in helping the struggling team and now Rahane is the latest batsman to state how Shastri’s tips helped him in converting a good start into a 100 in the last match.

“It hurt the team’s chances that I was not converting my starts. Ravi Shastri was very helpful during this phase. He asked me to play the way I was playing and just asked for a little extra focus between 40 and 50. He said, “Once you cross 50, your instinct will take over,” Rahane said at the pre-match press conference.

“My focus in the third ODI was to focus that bit harder once I crossed 40, at least for those 10 next runs. After that I backed my instinct,” he added, crediting the team’s newly appointed director-of-cricket.

“I was batting well in the first two matches [at Cardiff and Nottingham], but got out on 45 and 41. That hurt me a lot because if you are batting so well in good conditions against this attack, if you get a big score it is good for my confidence and team morale,” Rahane said.

Talking further about his maiden ODI hundred scored at Edgbaston, Rahane said,”It was really special. After two 40s in the first two ODIs and the way I got out, I was really hurt. I couldn’t sleep after the Cardiff game because the way I got out stumped. It was a really silly mistake of mine. I was really determined in the third ODI. Once I crossed the next 10 runs after 40, my natural game took over,” the soft-spoken Mumbaikar said.

Rahane said that he was confident that a substantial knock was just round the corner. “I knew deep inside that a big innings was around the corner. When you are batting well, you don’t think too much. All I had to think about was how to focus that bit extra between 40 and 50, and how I prepare for that phase before the match. It was just a mind game.

“As I said, Ravi told me the next 10 runs after I reach will be important. When I reached the 40s, my whole aim was to concentrate harder. Once I crossed 50, I backed my natural game,” he added. The advice seemed to have worked because Rahane not only progressed to a high-score but also helped a team-mate out.

His opening partner Shikhar Dhawan, reeling under a string of low scores, was able to concentrate that much harder on his game while Rahane upped the scoring ante at the other end.

“When we went out to bat, the ball seamed around for the first five-six overs. I told Shikhar, I will remain positive, and if I see a ball I can hit I will go after it. In that over itself, I hit four boundaries, and the momentum switched towards us. Then he (Shikhar) asked me to continue playing that way. I backed my game, and that allowed Shikhar some time to settle in. Once he got in, it was a joy to watch him bat from the non-striker’s end,” said the centurion about their 183-run opening stand.

It gives an added option to skipper MS Dhoni in the build-up to the 2015 ODI World Cup. Rahane had batted at number four in the Cardiff ODI and he has been the designate middle-order batsman for some time now.

But after Rohit Sharma was ruled out of the remainder of the series with a broken finger, he was asked to open and he did so with some joy.

“The captain asked me if I would open and I responded in the positive. I was ready for the challenge. When you captain shows that confidence in you, you also must be prepared mentally to take that challenge on,” Rahane said.

“Technique doesn’t change. You just have to change your mindset moving up from number four to open the innings. The way you handle the new ball, how you can dominate the new ball is important. When we spoke during that partnership, all we discussed was we need to dominate the bowlers. We can’t let them bowl where they want to,” he added.

When asked if he will continue to open when Rohit returns to the team eventually, the Mumbai batsman replied,”I haven’t thought of it yet. We always want to play for each other. We want to enjoy each other’s performance. A good team is one that plays for each other.”

Catch all the coverage of India’s tour to England here

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Saeed Ajmal’s action to be assessed after two more weeks of remedial work under Saqlain Mushtaq

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Steve O’Keefe and other Test cricketers with apostrophes in their surnames

Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Geoff Marsh and other Father-Son trios to have played Test cricket

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Why did Mohammad Hafeez go for a shocking review?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Aravinda de Silva’s house burgled; cash worth over Rs 5 million stolen

Jesse Ryder smashes 57 ball 136 for Otago against Ireland XI

Ottis Gibson: I was fired by West Indies Cricket Board (WICB)

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 2 at Dubai

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 2 at Dubai

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

Joginder Sharma: When an over eclipses a career

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Younis Khan: First Pakistani and 12th overall to score a century against all 9 Test nations

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Diwali special: Check out what gifts Deepika Padukone, Sonakshi Sinha, Hrithik Roshan should exchange this Diwali!

Lenovo RocStar music-focused Android KitKat smartphone with Dolby Digital Plus audio launched in India, priced at Rs 6,499

Narendra Modi to celebrate Diwali with soldiers at Siachen Glacier

Google’s new Inbox app is the Google Now of Gmail

इबोला : अंतर्राष्ट्रीय लड़ाई में क्यूबा का साथ देगा अमेरिका

इबोला से संक्रमित अमेरिकी फोटोग्राफर विषाणु मुक्त घोषित

How are Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra and Alia Bhatt celebrating Diwali?

Diwali 2014 Special: Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Sunny Leone – Top 7 Bollywood patakas we love!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here