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IPL 2014: Ajinkya Rahane attributes IPL for India success

Ajinkya-Rahane-in-action-during-the-match-between-Chennai-Super-Kings-and-Rajasthan-Royals-at-Sawai-Mansingh-Stadium-3.
Ajinkya Rahane is a vital cog in the Rajasthan Royals batting line-up © IANS

Apr 14, 2014

India’s rising star Ajinkya Rahane attributed the Indian Premier League (IPL) for acclimatizing to the pace and bounce of South Africa and New Zealand.

In what turned out to brutal tours away from home, Rahane was one of the bright spots in what was otherwise a bleak period for India, who struggled to muster a single win in the Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODIs), read an IBN Live report.

The elegant Mumbai batsman is a vital cog in the Rajasthan Royals line-up for the upcoming IPL revealed to The Indian Express that a knock on the head from a Dale Steyn bouncer provided a harsh first lesson in international cricket and refused to budge from then on. When quizzed about the role IPL played in Rahane shaping up as a player said, “Yes, it [IPL] surely helps because when I faced them [fast bowlers] in Test cricket, I took confidence from the fact that I had already played most of them in the IPL before. You have a fair idea of how they bowl and their strengths and weaknesses. IPL has helped us a lot in that sense,” Rahane said.

When  Rahane’s memory was refreshed with the Steyn bouncer in Johannesburg, the opener said, “Yes, I still remember it. I got hit and told myself to not react. Because had I shown pain, it would have given Steyn and the opposition immense confidence and they would have probably gotten me out soon after. The world is watching you and by not reacting you show that you are mentally strong. The message from me to him was this: ‘Bowl whatever you want at me and I will not lose focus’.

With the IPL 7 preparations going on in full swing, Rahane is rather blaze about the upcoming cricket extravaganza that kicks off in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“The main thing is to keep things simple and not put too much pressure on self. I’m enjoying my batting at the moment. We have a good side, a side full of players who know the inner workings of the Rajasthan Royals set-up. Getting back into the groove quickly will be the key. The reason for Royals’ success in the past is our willingness to help one another out, no matter what,” he said.

Rahane also opened the lid on improvising with a few new shots — a step away from the crisp copy book technique that he is known for, “There are certain strokes which I’m working on and I’m trying them out during practice games and in the nets…It is nothing revolutionary, just regular shots with modified angles of the bat.”

Rahane signed off by stating that the monumental knock in Durban and his first Test century in New Zealand had given him the much needed fillip that was required in his carrier at International cricket, Rahane said, “It gave me confidence and the belief that I belong at this level. Scoring runs abroad in general is the big challenge. I may have missed out on a century in Durban by four runs, but that too was a big confidence booster. I reinstated my belief in hard work; there is no substitute for it.”

Rahane signed off by stating that the monumental knock in Durban and his first Test century in New Zealand had given him the much needed fillip that was required in his carrier at International cricket, Rahane said, “It gave me confidence and the belief that I belong at this level. Scoring runs abroad in general is the big challenge. I may have missed out on a century in Durban by four runs, but that too was a big confidence booster. I reinstated my belief in hard work; there is no substitute for it.”

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