'Shreyas Iyer doesn't need any advice…': Ajinkya Rahane on BCCI contract snub | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'Shreyas Iyer doesn't need any advice…': Ajinkya Rahane says BCCI contract snub won't affect Ranji Trophy semis

Mar 02, 2024 06:06 AM IST

Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane threw his weight firmly behind Shreyas Iyer, who lost his BCCI central contract.

Shreyas Iyer found his captain's support before the all-important Ranji Trophy semi-final. Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane threw his weight firmly behind Iyer, who along with Jharkhand’s Ishan Kishan was not considered for the annual central contracts after both the players skipped the Ranji matches of their respective teams in violation of BCCI’s diktat.

India's Shreyas Iyer(PTI)
India's Shreyas Iyer(PTI)

Shreyas Iyer sat out of Mumbai’s quarterfinal against Baroda here while complaining of back pain but the NCA medical team let the Mumbai Cricket Association know that there were no fresh injury concerns related to Iyer and that the batter was fit to play. The fact that Iyer was seen in the Kolkata Knight Riders camp, the IPL franchise he is slated to lead in the upcoming season, further irked the board.

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Iyer, however, was quick to realise his mistake. He made himself available for Mumbai's semi-final against Tami Nadu starting Saturday. Ahead of the high-profile encounter, Rahane showed support for his teammate.

“He's an experienced player. His contribution has been amazing whenever he turned up for Mumbai. We are thrilled to have him in our team for the semifinal,” Rahane told the media here at the BKC Ground.

Rahane said Shreyas would not require any extra motivation to do well for Mumbai against TN.

“I don't think he needs any encouragement or advice. He has always contributed with the bat for Mumbai, and him being around other players in the dressing room will also help the team’s cause,” said Rahane.

Rahane not bothered about low scores

However, Rahane himself is waging a personal battle after scoring just 115 runs from six matches at an average of 12.77 with a lone fifty.

But the 35-year-old did not read much into those anaemic numbers.

“It’s just a phase and you have to respect it (not scoring runs). When you're batting well and scoring runs, it happens consistently. There's nothing wrong with my batting. I just have to remain positive and back my game and instinct,” he said.

Rahane said he needed to bat freely to get back into his run-scoring ways.

“I just have to go out there and play freely. I feel as a player you have to be confident and respect a phase, move forward and learn whatever you can. You don't want to go too far ahead,” he added.

Rahane confirmed that opener Prithvi Shaw has recovered from a finger injury which had forced him to bat in the middle-order during the quarterfinal.

“His finger was hurt, that’s why he came down the order. We wanted him to go before Musheer (Khan). But obviously, because of the injection’s effect, he had to go after him,” Rahane said.

Rahane hoped that Shaw, who has made 389 runs from four matches at an average of 64.83, would find his A game against Tamil Nadu.

“Prithvi is really aggressive and he gets those runs very quickly. As a batsman, I don't think he (has) changed much. He's hungry to score runs. That's what we want from Prithvi. We don't want him to change his game,” Rahane said.

He said Mumbai will adopt a pressure-free approach in this game.

“We are playing really well. We don't want to think about the quarterfinal, semifinal or final. It is just another game for us. If we can do that and be in the moment as a team and individuals, it will help us,” Rahane noted.

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