My ODI record was good before getting dropped: Ajinkya Rahane
For Ajinkya Rahane, the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) will be a new start. Captain of Rajasthan Royals for major part of the 2019 edition, Rahane was traded to Delhi Capitals for two spinners. It came after a long hiatus from limited-over cricket that saw him missing last year’s World Cup in England. Rahane’s last ODI was in February, 2018. But as another edition of IPL beckons, Rahane fancies his chances of a return to the limited overs team.
“I am hopeful of making a comeback in white ball cricket. If you see my record before getting dropped in ODIs, it was really good actually. People talk about strike rate and averages. Before getting dropped from 50-over cricket, it was really good. I have faith in myself rather than what people are saying,” said Rahane, in a Zoom call from Dubai.
Rahane did not play an ODI in 2019 and was used for only six games in South Africa in 2018. This after scoring 586 runs in 12 matches at an average of 48.83 in 2017. With the No. 4 slot a shaky proposition for India going into the World Cup, the senior middle-order batsman was overlooked for a rookie all-rounder Vijay Shankar.
“I was actually thinking I will be there batting at No. 4 (in the World Cup). It’s gone now. You can’t think too much about it. I was there playing county cricket, when the World Cup was happening in England. Everybody wants to play the World Cup. My record in the past was really good,” he said.
Batting slot not known
Rahane opened for Rajasthan Royals but at Delhi Capitals there will be competition for that slot. The Capitals have a power-packed opening combo in Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw. They also have in their ranks Jason Roy and Shimron Hetmyer. “We are still in quarantine, so I don’t know what role I am going to play. Once training starts and the communication within the group happen, we will be aware. I have enjoyed opening the batting but it’s up to the team management,” said Rahane, 32.
“If there is a situation where I have to bat at No. 5 and 6, I will do it. That way I can explore a new aspect about my game. Once the role is clear it will help. You need at least need five to six sessions to settle in depending on where in the batting order you are.”
Capitals coach Ricky Ponting joined the team on Thursday. The Capitals will have their first training session on Saturday.
Also read: Delhi Capitals coach Ponting lands in Dubai
“Playing under Ricky Ponting, I am excited. It is the best opportunity to take my game one step forward. We all know him as a player. Obviously, this time due to the Covid rules, the interactions may not happen that much but I can always call him. I have been following Delhi Capitals since the last two years. We have a fantastic bunch of players. Looking forward to play with them,” he said.
“Once I was back from the New Zealand series in February, I started preparing for the IPL. But then the lockdown happened. We did not know when cricket will start again. I used that time to be with my daughter Arya.
“I have not batted for five to six months. I was only doing visualisation, meditation but no cricketing skills. I think the attitude and work ethics will be really important this time. Also, discipline and following all the rules on and off the field is going to be a challenge.”