Cricket

India vs New Zealand | Every condition for us is home condition, says Rahane

Fond memories: In India’s last Test at the Basin Reserve in 2014, Rahane notched up a century.

Fond memories: In India’s last Test at the Basin Reserve in 2014, Rahane notched up a century.   | Photo Credit: Marty Melville

‘Still, I would say, New Zealand is the favourite’

Normally quiet and introspective in nature, Ajinkya Rahane lets his bat do the talking. He is short in stature, possesses rapier-like strokes, can be solid in defence and delivers when his team needs him to.

In India’s last Test at the Basin Reserve, in 2014, Rahane notched up a brilliant 118. Predictably, he has fond memories of the arena.

Special moment

He remembered that hundred. “That was a really special moment for me. I remember that my backlift was changing because of the wind and that was a challenge to control my backlift. There were times when I had to shorten my backlift.”

He added, “Sometimes you’ve got to play with low backlift and, maybe, you have got to change your guard and play accordingly.”

On pacemen having to bowl against the wind in Wellington, he said, “I don’t think any of the fast bowlers like to bowl against the wind but it’s about what your team wants. Wind is a big factor in Wellington.”

Play natural game

Rahane’s advice to the young Indian opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw was to “go out there and play your natural game.”

Wickets in New Zealand ease out after the first couple of days, he said, and added the batsmen should consolidate. There would be opportunities for the spinners in the later stages of the Test, Rahane noted.

About Rishabh Pant, he said, “He bats at No. 6 or 7, so he has to keep visualising about it if he got an opportunity. Keep it simple, focus on the controllables.”

Rahane said expectations on foreign soil from this Indian team, particularly after the conquest in Australia, had grown. “Now every condition for us is home condition. Still, I would say, New Zealand is favourite in home conditions. But we will try our best.”

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 5:42:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/india-vs-new-zealand-every-condition-for-us-is-home-condition-says-rahane/article30873699.ece

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