Rahane: We will stick to our plans for Melbourne Test

The India stand-in captain says his team needs to back itself and stick to its plans despite its defeat in the first Test.

Ajinkya Rahane looks on during a training session in Melbourne on Friday. - GETTY IMAGES

Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane feels the Indian team needs to back itself and stick to its plans despite the humiliating loss in the first Test in which India was bowled out for 36 in the second innings.

AUS v IND, SECOND TEST - PREVIEW

Speaking ahead of the second Test that starts in Melbourne on Saturday, Rahane, who will lead the side in Virat Kohli’s absence, said, “In Adelaide, we had two good days but, it was one bad hour where we lost it completely. The preparations have been good and, the chat was all about backing ourselves as individuals and as a team. We want to play to our strengths and try to stick to whatever we had planned for the first Test.”

No pressure

With Shubhman Gill replacing the out-of-form Prithvi Shaw as the opener for the second Test, Rahane has vowed not to put pressure on the openers.

“The role of the openers is crucial everywhere and not just in Australia. I don’t want to put pressure on them and want them to give freedom to play their game. Having said that, when you get a good (opening) partnership going, it becomes easy for the batsman coming after,” Rahane added.

The skipper also revealed that he had a chat with Kohli for triggering a mix up that saw the latter being run out in the first innings in Adelaide and conceded the dismissal swung the momentum towards Australia.

The 32-year-old Mumbai batsman led India once against the same opponent - in Dharamsala in 2017 - and said he would use the lessons from that experience. “It is a great opportunity and responsibility but, I don’t want to take any pressure. What I want to do is back my team-mates and as a team, we want to do well. I learnt a lot during that (2017) Test which is to just back your instincts and to remain calm under pressure,” he added.

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