Cricket

India vs England | It will be a spinning track, says Rahane

Utility man: Rahane feels that he has put his hand up whenever the team has needed him.   | Photo Credit: SPORTZPICS/BCCI

Ajinkya Rahane has emphasised time and again that he prefers to be aggressive with his mindset rather than be overly expressive on the field. But the India vice-captain briefly belied his soft-spoken image when questioned about his lack of consistent runs in home Tests.

Asked to elaborate on his ‘slump’ during an interaction with the media on Tuesday, Rahane shot back immediately: “I was expecting this question and thankfully you asked. You need to check your facts. You know my contribution to the team. Whenever the team has needed runs, my runs are there, so you need to focus on your stats and come up with a right question.”

Since the start of 2019, Rahane averages 43.44 overall (17 Tests), 43.80 at home (eight Tests), 64.85 in wins (11 Tests), and 54.62 in home wins (seven Tests). Since the start of 2020, he averages 27.75 overall (nine Tests), 17 at home (three Tests), 47.33 in wins (four Tests), and 28 in home wins (two Tests).

Not a concern

But Rahane stressed that the lack of recent runs isn’t a concern for him.

“You know I am a team man, everyone knows that. When the team needs me to score in a situation, I have always done that. I am not too concerned about it. As a player, I am always looking to learn and grow,” he said.

Despite the furore over the pitches, especially in the British press and by former England cricketers, Rahane confirmed that the pitch at Motera for the series-decider will assist turn.

“The wicket will be similar to the third Test and the second Test that we played in Chennai. It will be a spinning track,” he said. “Pink ball made a difference, it was coming on to the bat much quicker. That’s an adjustment that we had to make. But as I said, the pitch will be similar to the one for the last two Tests.”

India needs to avoid losing the last Test to ensure a berth in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand at Lord’s in June. Rahane, who like Ishant Sharma is presently a one-format player for India, echoed the pacer’s sentiments about the importance of winning the WTC final.

“Ishant was spot on. Winning the Test Championship final will be like winning the World Cup. Having said that, the focus is on playing this Test and winning this game,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 6:33:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/india-vs-england-it-will-be-a-spinning-track-says-rahane/article33974715.ece

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