Rahane confident of making comeback in limited-overs

Ajinkya Rahane said he was confident of making a comeback to India’s limited-overs team and playing at the World Cup.

Ajinkya Rahane during the Ekamra Sports Literary Festival in Bhubaneswar.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Former South African captain Graeme Smith in his lecture at the Jagmohan Dalmiya conclave in Kolkata on Friday had said that the nature of results could have changed in India’s series in South Africa at the beginning of the year, if Ajinkya Rahane had played the first Test.

Rahane smiled when he was told about Smith’s comment here on Saturday. “I am happy that a great player has said such things about me,” he said. “But right now I am thinking about the forthcoming tour of Australia.”

Rahane, who was one of the speakers at the Ekamra Sports Literary Festival, said he was confident of making a comeback to India’s limited-overs team and playing at the World Cup. “That is why I have played domestic cricket,” the Indian Test vice-captain said. “I am confident that I will bounce back.”

He said Cheteshwar Pujara, who is branded as a Test batsman, was also capable of playing in shorter formats.

“Remember he has played Test innings in which he has scored at run-a-ball,” Rahane said. “He has the kind of skills that other (more attacking) batsmen don’t have.”

He felt allowing free entry for schoolchildren to matches would be one of the ways to popularise Test cricket. About the possibility of pink ball Tests, he felt he was not sure about its prospects in India since it depended on grounds and conditions.

According to Rahane the Yo-Yo test is a good thing. “It is helping us setting the benchmark in fielding,” he said.

But, earlier in the day, Mohammad Kaif, one of India’s finest fielders during his playing days, expressed a different view. “I believe cricket is a game of skills primarily. You have to pick players based on their abilities to score runs and take wickets.”