‘Sachin Tendulkar was at the other end when I came out to bat’: Ajinkya Rahane recalls Test debut
In a recent chat with former India cricketer Deep Dasgupta on his ESPNCricinfo chat show Cricketbaazi, Rahane recalled his Test debut against Australia at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi in 2013.Updated: Jul 11, 2020 10:10 IST
For every cricketer, a Test debut is one of the most memorable moments in their careers. All the hard work and sacrifices over the years seem justified when a cricketer gets their Test cap from the team captain. it hardly matters whether a player gets to perform on the big stage on the first go with all the butterflies in the stomach. It certainly goes down as a moment that a cricketer remembers forever. For India batsman Ajinkya Rahane, his debut was a memorable one as well. And it was none other than Sachin Tendulkar himself who adviced the young Mumbai cricketer to enjoy the moment.
In a recent chat with former India cricketer Deep Dasgupta on his ESPNCricinfo chat show Cricketbaazi, Rahane recalled his Test debut against Australia at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi in 2013.
“I didn’t know how to react, I was feeling mixed emotions. It was, obviously, a special moment for me, but I was a bit feeling nervousness and excitement as well,” Rahane said.
Rahane came down to bat after India went three wickets down for 148 and Sachin Tendulkar was batting on the other end. Seeing a nervous youngster in front of him, Tendulkar gave him an advice that Rahane still remembers to this day. “When I went down to bat, Sachin paaji was on the other side. He told me that ‘as a player, you want to do well on debut, and every game. But you need to forget all of this at this moment. Just enjoy the moment’. He gave me this advice. My debut match was not that great, but it was memorable,” Rahane said.
The batsman played 19 balls in the first innings in the match and was dismissed for 7. He could only play 5 balls in the second innings but could only score a single. But India still went on to win the encounter by six days. Rahane, who had previously always played at the top order for his team, said that it was bit challenging for him adjusting to bat at the middle-order.
“To bat at the middle-order was a bit challenging. I bat at no. 6 position (no. 5 position, actually), and it was challenging. When you are batting at no. 6 in India, you know the ball gets old, and the fielders are standing backwards.
“When you are someone who has opened all your life, then I definitely needed to make an adjustment. But at the time, how difficult is the situation did not even go through my head at the time. I was just enjoy my batting at the time. I am playing for India and I am going to do it for my country. That was all I had in my mind,” the batsman said.