I deserve a consistent run in ODIs, says Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane has not been considered for an ODI since February 2018, but is optimistic about his World Cup chances.

Ajinkya Rahane says he "deserves" a fair run in the ODIs.   -  K.R. Deepak

He has scored eight fifties and a hundred in the 16 ODI innings he has played in the last two years, including a Player of the Series performance in the West Indies in 2017. Still, Ajinkya Rahane, the Test vice-captain, has not been considered for an ODI since February 2018. While, Rahane is optimistic about his World Cup chances and says he “deserves” a fair run in ODIs.

Do you think it’s time you express yourself more aggressively?

See, I am aggressive as a batsman but by nature, I am quite shy. I prefer to let my bat speak but sometimes it’s important to speak the truth... I have believed the team always comes first and I have always respected the team management and the selectors’ decision and I will continue to do that. But in the end, it is important that your performance is recognised as well. See the point that I am trying to make is that if as a player I have always played for the team, then I deserve chances more consistently. That’s the least I am asking.

Do you feel let down sometimes that you haven’t got that consistent run in ODIs?

If I feel let down, my mindset will turn negative, so I don’t really think that way. I leave that decision to the selectors because they are the best judges but I also believe that my performances were really good. If you see the last three-four series, my average was around 45 to 50. Yes, after that I was dropped and I went back to domestic cricket and I feel I have done reasonably well.

Do you think the uncertainty with white-ball cricket has unsettled your performance?

Frankly, I never thought about my personal or own achievements. I did well as opener against West Indies and Australia but in South Africa, the management thought I would be suitable at No. 4, so I said ‘whatever you prefer’ because the team wanted it and the team comes first. But every individual needs confidence and positive vibes like “yes, you are there and you are doing it for the team”. I think everyone knows that if someone is backing you, the player gets the confidence to play fearless and positive cricket.

Ajinkya Rahane with former Mumbai team-mate Wasim Jaffer.   -  PTI Photo

 

Chief selector M.S.K. Prasad recently said you are still a part of World Cup plans. What are the signals you are getting?

It feels good that I am being considered. But at the same time, you need to get a chance. Playing the World Cup is a dream every cricketer cherishes. I do respect the selectors and team management’s decisions. I think I deserve a chance.

Are you still hopeful or is time running out?

I am very much hopeful. Like I said, I keep negative thoughts away and you never know, things can change any time. It’s important to believe in yourself and keep good people around you rather than those who will say “yaar, yeh tere saath kyon ho raha hai (Friend, why is this happening with you)”. I keep my distance from such people and be comfortable with a closed group of four-five people who have believed in me all along.

Read: Rahane puts his focus on domestic T20