Rahul Dravid's words had motivated Ajinkya Rahane back in 2008-09. (Getty Images)
Rahul Dravid's words had motivated Ajinkya Rahane back in 2008-09. (Getty Images)

Rahul bhai told me 'don't run after India selection, it'll follow you': Ajinkya Rahane on how Dravid 'motivated' him

  • Ajinkya Rahane recalled an important piece of advice from the legendary Rahul Dravid that ‘motivated’ and ‘inspired’ him.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 10, 2021 11:05 AM IST

Remembering his grind in the domestic cricket before getting an India call-up, current India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane recalled an important piece of advice from the legendary Rahul Dravid that ‘motivated’ and ‘inspired’ him.

Rahane, who is currently in England as part of the Indian Test team which is gearing up to play the first-ever World Test Championships final against New Zealand from June 18 in Southampton, shared his interaction with Dravid during a Duleep Trophy final in 2008-09. Rahane was playing for the West Zone while Dravid was representing the South Zone.

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"I remember in a Duleep Trophy final, we were playing against South Zone in 2008-09 and Rahul Dravid was playing in it in Chennai. I got runs in that game – 165 and 98. Rahul bhai called me up after the game and said, I’ve read about you a lot, you are scoring a lot of runs. As a player, it is very natural that you will start expecting an India call-up. All I would tell you is to keep on doing what you’ve been doing,” Rahane told former India wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta in an interview with ESPNCricinfo.

You keep focussing on that and India call-up will come automatically. Don’t run after it, it will follow you. Getting that advice from someone like Rahul bhai really motivated me a lot. That inspired me a lot. He has seen a lot of ups and downs. I got another thousand runs next seasons and two years after that, I was selected.”

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Rahane, who had made his ODI debut in 2011, explained how he was anxious after not getting an India call-up despite scoring heaps of runs in first-class cricket. The right-hander said that Pravin Amre was the one who helped him after he had a poor start to his First-Class career.

“The first three or four games in my first season of Ranji Trophy did not go well. People had started to say that I should be dropped and sent back to club cricket but Pravin Amre, who was our coach at that time said that ‘once we have got someone into the side, we should at least give him 7-8 matches before deciding.’

“There used to be seven league matches at that time and my rest of the games went quite well, I scored runs and from then, for the next five seasons, I scored more than 1000 runs every time in First-class Cricket. So yes, after the first two-three years I started thinking that I could get a call-up any day but the more I thought about it, the further it went away,” Rahane said.

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