Gautam Gambhir is more aggressive while playing against Pakistan: Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane (L) and Gautam Gambhir © AFP

Ahmedabad: Dec 29, 2012

India opening batsman Ajinkya Rahane on Saturday revealed that left-handed opener Gautam Gambhir is comparatively more aggressive while playing against arch rivals Pakistan.

Talking about his experience of playing against Pakistan in the first two Twernty20s, Rahane said, “I try to back my own game irrespective of the partner I’m batting with. Like Rahul sir, Gauti bhai also guides me through the innings. When playing against Pakistan, Gauti bhai comes in with a more aggressive mood, although he doesn’t show it.”

Rahane had a good outing with the bat against Pakistan in the two-match series, which the arch rivals tied, winning a game each.

Rahane scored 42 off 31 balls during his 77-run opening partnership with Gambhir at Bangalore, whereas he scored 28 and added 44 runs for the first wicket in the second game at Ahmedabad.

“It was a very special experience for me playing against Pakistan for the first time. During both these matches, the team’s enthusiasm was completely different. It feels very special to win today against Pakistan,” Rahane told in an interview.

Talking about the pressure while playing against Pakistan, Rahane expressed, “Off the field everything remains the same, but the moment you enter the ground, things change. There’s much more pressure when you’re playing against Pakistan. The team effort goes high as it was during both these matches, although we lost in Bengaluru.”

“That’s always the plan – to bat big. But at times you have to back your instincts, especially in T20s where you’re expected to play your shots to maintain the run-rate. Having said that, after getting set, I need to convert the starts into big scores. I scored 42 in the last match and got out on 28. In the coming matches I will try harder to bat longer,” he added.

Rahane said adjusting to different format depends a lot on the mindset.

“Adaptation from one format to another is entirely a mind game. If you’re mentally prepared to face any situation, it’s not that difficult to adapt. However, being able to make that adjustment is very crucial. I always try to play proper cricketing shots in T20s,” he said.

“The opposition always think that the batsmen come to slog in T20s and they make their plans accordingly. They hardly expect someone to score runs by playing orthodox shots,” Rahane added.

Talking about the 7ft 1inch tall Pakistan pacer Mohammad Irfan, Rahane said, “It was the first time that I faced such a tall bowler and it was difficult negotiating him at first. And since we hadn’t seen him before, the plan between Gauti bhai and I was to just see him off and keep rotating the strike against him. Then, we could look to dominate the other bowlers.”