Cricket

I deserve chances more consistently in ODIs: Ajinkya Rahane

Positive outlook: Ajinkya Rahane is optimistic of getting a look-in for the World Cup.  

He has scored eight fifties and a hundred in the 16 ODI innings in the last two years, including a player-of-the-series performance in West Indies in 2017.

Still, Ajinkya Rahane, the Test vice-captain, has not been considered for an ODI since February 2018. While he is optimistic about his World Cup chances, Rahane claims he “deserves” a fair run in one-dayers.

Excerpts

Do you think it’s time you expressed yourself more aggressively?

As a batsman, I am aggressive but by nature, I am quite shy. I prefer to let my bat speak but sometimes it’s important to speak the truth. I have always believed the team comes first and respected the management and the selectors’ decision. I will continue to do that.

But in the end, it is important that your performance is recognised.

The point is that if as a player I have always played for the team, then I deserve chances more consistently. That’s the least I am asking.

Do you feel let down sometimes that you haven’t got that consistent run in ODIs?

If I feel let down, my mindset will turn negative and so, I don’t really think that way. I leave that decision to the selectors because they are the best judges.

I also believe that my performances were really good. If you see the last three-four series, my average was around 45 to 50. After I was dropped, I went back to domestic cricket and feel I have done reasonably well.

Do you think the uncertainty with white-ball cricket has unsettled your performance?

Frankly, I have never thought about my personal achievements. I did well as an opener against West Indies and Australia but in South Africa, the management thought I would be suitable at No. 4.

I said “whatever you prefer” because the team wanted it. But every individual needs confidence and positive vibes like “yes, you are there and you are doing it for the team”. I think everyone knows that if someone is backing you, the player gets the confidence to play fearless and positive cricket.

Chief selector M.S.K. Prasad recently said you are still part of World Cup plans. What are the signals you are getting?

It feels good that I am being considered. But at the same time, you need to get a chance.

Playing the World Cup is a dream every cricketer cherishes. I do respect the selectors and team management’s performances and I think I deserve a chance.

Are you still hopeful or is time running out?

I am very much hopeful. Like I said, I keep negative thoughts away and you never know, things can change any time.

It’s important to believe in yourself and keep good people around you rather than those who will say “yaar, yeh tere saath ki kyon ho raha hai (why is this happening with you, pal)”.

I keep my distance from such people and am comfortable with a closed group of four or five people who have believed in me all along.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 11:38:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/i-deserve-chances-more-consistently-in-odis-ajinkya-rahane/article26379915.ece

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