Rahane: ‘It’s all about your attitude’

The batsman, who serves as the India C captain in the Deodhar Trophy, is keen to approach his domestic assignments with the same intensity as international cricket.

Ajinkya Rahane will lead the India C team in the Deodhar Trophy. (File Photo)   -  Sudhakara Jain

Known for his stolidity on the field, Ajinkya Rahane was much the same batting in the nets at a corner of the Feroz Shah Kotla on Tuesday.

Thrown length deliveries by a member of the coaching staff, he defended most deliveries calmly and decisively, with minimal but adequate movement of his feet and body. He looked as serene playing the odd pull as well.

For the best part of the last two months, Rahane has been testing the List A waters. This was after a middling tour of England, where he scored two half-centuries in five Tests.

Rahane has a lot on his hands - the constant pressure to perform, the requirement of constantly fighting it out on a platform that he himself admits as being “a step below international cricket,” and the responsibility of captaining a group of players who haven’t played much together.

Here, over the next few days, he will be among those eyeing a spot in India’s One-Day International squad; with the World Cup closing in, it will be a crucial tourney.

Like on the cricket field, Rahane has a typical response to the challenges. “Whenever I come and play domestic cricket, it’s all about ‘come out there and play with the same intensity with which you play international cricket’,” he said after India C’s practice session.

'It’s all about your attitude'

The attitude towards situations was important, according to Rahane.

“I’m really enjoying it, because before making my international debut, I spent five-six years in domestic cricket. It’s all about enjoying your cricket whether you play international or domestic. Once you come from [playing] international cricket, it’s all about your attitude and how you handle yourself here,” he added.

Out of the ODI side India’s tour of South Africa in the 2017-18 season, Rahane impressed in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, scoring a century and a half-century in his first two matches.

He understands there are others in the immediate periphery of the national side as well, and in a series where the attention can fall disproportionately on individual performances than team effort, binding the team together will be important.

Acknowledging the players’ predicament, Rahane elaborated on what his message would be as captain.

“There are certain things you can’t control and that’s something that I always believe in. What you can control is your good attitude on the field, and your dedication on the field, and the passion to play cricket. That’s what you can control. That’s the only message I’ll give - just go out there and enjoy your cricket with passion. Play with a good attitude,” he said.

The platform is important, too. “You must give importance to domestic cricket, as a youngster,” he said.

Stick to Basics

As a batsman, Rahane is keen to stick to the basics. “What you have to be mindful of is playing one ball at a time because it just takes one ball to get you out. It’s all about staying in your zone as a batsman and concentrating for the right period of time rather than a longer period of time. That is what is important for a batsman,” he said.

I always believe that you’re always a student; when you step on to the field, you learn something or the other each and every day. The attitude which I bring in international cricket, I want to continue with that and help my team always because when you help your team you automatically do well. I’m not thinking about individual performances or outcomes, it’s all about playing with a good attitude in domestic cricket and sending a good message,” he signed off.

India C plays its first match of the tourney on Wednesday, against India B.