Cricket

We won’t take them lightly: Rahane

Mental switch: Rahane feels getting back to Tests after the IPL is all about tuning the mind.

Mental switch: Rahane feels getting back to Tests after the IPL is all about tuning the mind.   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Rahane says his team would adopt a ruthless approach

The sense of occasion is not lost on Ajinkya Rahane. The Mumbai batsman will go down in history as the opposing captain in Afghanistan’s debut Test match. Rahane, who stepped in as the skipper due to the unavailability of Virat Kohli, stated that it was an “honour” to lead the national team in this historic event.

“It’s an honour for all of us (Indian team). And for me personally, it’s an honour to be the captain for this Test. It’s a big match for Afghanistan. We know that playing a Test match is always special,” Rahane said here on Wednesday.

Pleasantries aside, the home team will be ruthless when it takes the field, Rahane said.

“We won’t take Afghanistan lightly. We know they’re a decent team, with (good) bowlers. We respect them as an opponent, but we will stick to our strengths. We will be ruthless,” a smiling Rahane said.

The 30-year-old was not impressed with talk of the Afghanistan spinners posing a big threat.

“Everyone will believe that they are better than the opponent. But it boils down to how you handle the pressure on match-day. In Test cricket, every session matters a lot.

Our spinners – R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav - are quality, experienced bowlers. They enjoy bowling with each other,” Rahane said.

Rahane remained largely non-committal on whether he requested the authorities to prepare the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch to his liking.

“As the home team, it is important to play to our strengths. But let’s see how the pitch plays tomorrow,” he said.

After a long IPL campaign, it was important for the players to make the mental adjustment to the long format.

“We had a couple of fantastic practice sessions here in Bangalore. Getting back to Test cricket after the IPL is all about tuning your mind, rather than focussing on your skills,” Rahane said.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 2:26:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/we-wont-take-them-lightly-rahane/article24156143.ece

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