Ajinkya Rahane scored 17 runs from 5 innings against Sri Lanka © AFP
Ajinkya Rahane scored 17 runs from 5 innings against Sri Lanka © AFP

Ajinkya Rahane got a mere 17 runs from 5 innings against Sri Lanka in the recently-concluded Test series. While other Indians feasted on the Sri Lankan bowling, Rahane struggled and could only manage one double-digit score. However, Rahane received support from Vinod Kambli, who has enough experience in South African conditions as he has played for Boland: ”He is struggling but once he gets in, he should get bigger runs. Getting out so early, you lose your confidence and concentration. So for him, it’s one big knock. If he gets an opportunity, one big knock will bring back his confidence.”

Rahane is India’s vice-captain in Tests. Despite his poor show in the Test series, Rahane will be crucial to India’s chances. Rahane averages over 53 overseas and in South Africa, the average shoots over 69.

Key to success in South Africa

Kambli emphasised on the importance to keep one’s attitude positive and aggressive with the bat to succeed on the bouncy tracks of South Africa. Starting January 5, India will play 3 Tests, 6 ODIs and 3 T20Is in South Africa.

“It will be about the technique and the approach towards the game. There will be bouncy tracks and they (South African bowlers) will come at you. So the more aggressively and positively you play will be the best thing to do in South Africa. I had learnt when I played as professional that you have to play aggressively and positively. No matter whatever the situation is, just play your best.”

On India’s chances

India are yet to win a series in South Africa but Kambli remains confident: ”I am very confident that our team will do well [in South Africa], the way they are playing and the way they are winning. We have got the batting line up. Though it will be a challenge for Virat [Kohli] and the team.”

The illustrious VK club

Kambli was the first Indian batsman to register 2 consecutive double hundreds in Tests. The feat was equalled by Virat Kohli, against Sri Lanka in the recently concluded Test series.

India have great chance of winning Test series in South Africa, believes Rahul Dravid
India have great chance of winning Test series in South Africa, believes Rahul Dravid

“The way Virat is playing is amazing. I am happy to see him batting like that. I am also VK and he is also VK. I got the double hundreds long back. I would like to congratulate him,” Kambli said.

On Mumbai T20 league

Kambli has no regrets that there was no T20 during his playing days. He believes while playing for India he played all his T20 shots. About the Mumbai T20 League, Kambli felt it is a good platform for budding cricketers to perform and stake a claim for an IPL berth: ”It [the MCA T20 League] is a good opportunity for the youngsters. We play a lot of T20, but this is a big platform for them and hope they get the exposure. It is a learning process for all the youngsters who will be playing because they have to think about the IPL. For IPL, this (tournament) is the first step. They do it well here and they will get bigger platforms.”