World Cup 2019: Rahane wary of England, NZ and Windies

India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane feels the Men in Blue are a strong side but it will be a challenge to beat England in its own backyard.

Out-of-favour Rahane last played an ODI for India in February 16, 2018 against South Africa in Centurion.   -  FILE PHOTO/ AKHILESH KUMAR


India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Saturday said that there is a misconception that only power hitters are successful at the top-order as players have their own methods to keep the scoreboard ticking.

It’s been more than a year that Rahane is out of the India ODI team but he still likes to stick to his own method.

“People always talk about power at the top but it is important to believe in your abilities and your own methods. It’s not all about power-hitting, someone has to play an anchoring role and guys around him can play power-hitting shots,” the diminutive right-handed batsman told ESPN Cricinfo.

“I always believed in my abilities and it’s important to stick to your game. As long as you are focussing your game that’s what matters.”

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Out-of-favour Rahane last played an ODI for India in February 16, 2018 against South Africa in Centurion.

Talking about the upcoming World Cup, Rahane said despite the loss to Australia in the five-match ODI series at home, India is still a strong contender to lift the Cup.

He, however, feels New Zealand, England and an “unpredictable” West Indies will pose serious threats to India’s title chances in the World Cup.

“I think personally we (India) have a very strong side. The cricket which we are playing recently is magnificent. The challenge in the World Cup will be to gather that momentum early and continue that. But I feel in ICC tournaments, it is important to give your best in each and every game,” Rahane said.

“Apart from India, New Zealand is a very good ODI side and do well in ICC tournaments. West Indies is unpredictable but a dangerous team, and also England. Playing England in England is going to be challenging.

“It is important to focus on our strengths and be positive all the time,” he added.

Rahane, who will be leading Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming Indian Premier League, will be hoping for a good outing with the bat in the T20 tournament to knock on the doors of the national selectors ahead of the World Cup.

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Rahane said the return of Steve Smith will be a big bonus for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.

“It’s good to have him (Smith) back as a Rajasthan Royals player. He is a quality player and it’s always good to have him in your team. Also to pick his mind will be very important. We all know his ability to win matches,” he said.

Asked about Royals’ challenge this season, the skipper said: “The challenge is to be consistent because the players are coming from all the different countries. It is important to stay together, stick together.

“As long as we are enjoying each others success and backing each other we are on the right track. It is important to be positive and fearless as a team.”

“We have got a good blend of youth and experience and it is important to make use of each and every individual,” he said.

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