I could have done better in England: Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane scored 158 runs in five ODIs and 61 in his debut T20 match against England Getty Images

Mumbai: Sep 20, 2011

Despite receiving praise from experts for his impressive debut during India’s just-concluded disastrous tour of England, opener Ajinkya Rahane feels he could have done better and says he would now set his eyes on converting his starts into big scores.

“It s a good start. Everyone wants to play for the country. I felt good that my dream came true. It was a good experience. But at the same time I could have done better. I’m not satisfied with my performance,” he told PTI.

“I am never satisfied with my performance. I have always believed that I could have done better. It was a good experience and exposure. I learnt a lot from everyone but I could have done better.

“Every batsman would want to get a big score once they get a start. Following this tour, what I would want to learn is to play long innings,” he added.

The 23-year old cricketer, who scored 158 runs in five ODIs and 61 in his debut T20 match, said while he was confident of doing well after being selected in the national squad, the support of his teammates when he reached England also comforted him.

“I was confident after a good performance in Australia.

And when you are selected for the national team, automatically you get a belief within. When I landed there (in England), everyone supported me. Dhoni bhai (Mahendra Singh Dhoni), Rahul bhai (Rahul Dravid), Sachin paaji (Sachin Tendulkar), Rohit (Sharma), (Suresh) Raina everyone…Everyone gave me confidence. They told me that I have done well and should back myself.

“Sachin paaji and Rahul bhai are both my role models. I always try to learn something from them. The longer time I spend with them, the better it is for me. Rahul bhai told me that I was batting well and should continue to do that. He told me to play my natural game

“I have played with Sachin paaji for Mumbai in Ranji Trophy matches. I had a talk with him about the conditions and how to adjust to them which helped me,” Rahane added.

On his partnership with Parthiv Patel at the top of the order, which provided India with many good starts, Rahane said the experience of playing together for West Zone came in handy for both the players.

“We have played together for West Zone. That experience came in handy. We enjoyed each other’s company. Gauti bhai (Gautam Gambhir) and Viru bhai (Virender Sehwag) are very big players and it was a big challenge before us to give the team a good start and have a good partnership. We were trying to enjoy ourselves,” he said.

Rahane said his next challenge would be to work hard to ensure that he represents India for a longer period.

“Getting a place in the Indian squad is difficult but to retain your place is more difficult. I have to work hard to play consistently and for a longer time for India. I have to work hard and I know I will do it,” he added.