Rahane: 'We can't take West Indies lightly'

Ajinkya Rahane is coming off a good Vijay Hazare outing where he scored 230 runs in three matches.

Ajinkya Rahane had a disappointing tour of England.   -  K. Murali Kumar

The mercury soared to nearly 38 degrees on Tuesday afternoon as Indian cricketers took the field at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. As the players sweated it out at the nets, most of them made it a point to have water and energy drink. They had water and energy drinks to remain hydrated.

India’s vice-captain, Ajinkya Rahane, admitted that it is important for the team to adapt to the conditions quickly. “We have to see how the wicket behaves, it is hot here, so we have to adapt to the conditions quickly during the practice sessions," Rahane said.

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But then, the 30-year-old Mumbaikar was quick enough to make it clear that the team knows how to get the job done. “We know the Indian conditions and how to go about our job and what shots to play here. England was different, so we will have to quickly switch mentally.

“Each and every match is equally important, and we are just looking to play to our standards, rather than thinking about our opponents. It is important to start off well, we have two practice sessions before the Test match starts,” Rahane added.

Though on paper, West Indies looks quite a mismatch, the vice-captain said the focus of the Indian team is to improve its own game without thinking about the touring side.

“It was a great achievement to win Asia Cup and players who got an opportunity there did well, but this is a new series and we can't take them lightly. We have to focus to improve our own game,” said Rahane.

“No matter whom we play, whether it is Australia, England or West Indies, it is important to improve our own standard. Our goal will be to play some good cricket, definitely to dominate from the first match and show improvement as a batsman, as a bowler and as a team, that would be the focus,” he added.

After a disappointing outing in England, Rahane captained Mumbai in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. The right-hander had scores of 79*, 148 and 3 from three outings. He admitted that the tournament helped him get enough match practice before the series against West Indies. “After coming back from England, I was just looking to do well for Mumbai at that point of time and get some match practice ahead of the West Indies series. Vijay Hazare was a good match practice for me,” said Rahane.

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“I always believe whether it is a domestic, international or practice match, it brings a different pressure and I think it helped me to prepare. I am really confident and looking forward to do well and keep contributing towards my team,” the seasoned campaigner said.