India’s middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane said on Monday that the hosts weren’t concerned about Australia’s sledging in the upcoming four-match Test series, as they have “plans for every single Australian cricketer”.
“We don’t know if they’re going to sledge but we have a plan for all of them, which obviously we won’t be revealing here,” said Ajinkya Rahane at a media interaction at the MCA Stadium. “Whether it’s skill-wise or sledging-wise, we can’t reveal that, but trust me, we have a plan for every one of them. They’re known to play mind games so let them do what they want to… Our only objective is to dominate in every section of the game.”
Australia captain Steven Smith has already said that he has given his men the freedom to sledge, although his deputy David Warner later added that he wouldn’t risk doing so against in-form India skipper Virat Kohli.
“They’re coming to India and here they’ll expect turning tracks. For our team, it will be important to play to our potential and not focus on their bowling attack,” Rahane added. “For us, it is important to back our team. We will play attacking and positive cricket not just against the spinners but all their bowlers. We’ll have to read the conditions and the situations and play accordingly.”
Rahane had played an 82-run knock in the first innings against Bangladesh in the one-off Test at Hyderabad before adding 28 in the second innings. Rahane, who saw his replacement Karun Nair score a triple hundred in the last Test against England in Chennai, said he was looking forward to the one-off Test match to get back to scoring runs.
“I was really excited about the Test match and felt really good in the middle for whatever time I spent. But it’s important to start fresh here; Australia, as we know, is a very good team,” he said. “So, for us, it will be important to play to our potential. As a team, we’re really doing well at the moment. It’s important to take one game at a time.”
When asked if there was any pressure after Nair’s triple hundred, Rahane added, “In the end you’re representing your country. Injuries are part and parcel of the game. You don’t have control over that. But the knock that Karun (Nair) played, that 303, was good to see. I would like to thank my team management and captain that they backed me for the Bangladesh game and I wanted to back myself as well and I did that. I’m confident playing Australia and momentum will be the key. If we play well in the first game, I guess we’ll be able to carry that momentum forward.”
This is the first time the MCA Stadium will host a Test. The BCCI had announced six new Test venues for the 13-match home season, of which the Australia series is the last leg. Apart from Pune, Dharamsala and Ranchi will also host a Test for the first time.
“You want to give your best in whatever format of the game you’re playing. It’s all about the mindset. As a batsman I feel it’s all about the mental adjustment rather than the technical aspects of it. It’s how one adapts to the different situations and conditions and different kinds of wickets,” added Rahane.