Rahane: 'Mental adjustment key in ODIs'

India's batsman Ajinkya Rahane has said mental adjustment was key to doing well in the upcoming One-Day Internationals against New Zealand, owing to a sudden change in the international cricket format after a three-Test series.

Ajinkya Rahane (left) said he 'learnt a lot' as vice-captain to Virat Kohli in Tests.   -  PTI

Ahead of the One-Day International (ODI) series against New Zealand, India's batsman Ajinkya Rahane has said change in the international format required 'mental adjustment' that will be key to doing well in the upcoming series. India and New Zealand are coming off a three-Test series that concluded in Indore on Tuesday, five days before the commencement of a five-match ODI series in Dharamsala.

“As a professional cricketer it is important for us to adjust to any format. It is important how we adjust mentally. Getting used to the conditions will be a big factor and we are actually experienced in that. So we don’t think too much about the change in formats. It’s all about how you deal with certain situations and factors. Mental adjustment will be key in ODIs," Rahane told reporters at the HPCA stadium.

Rahane attributed India’s overwhelming success against New Zealand in the Tests to 'aggressive intent' which, he added, the team will strive to keep up in the ODIs. India whitewashed New Zealand 3-0 in the Test series to claim the No. 1 spot in the ICC Test rankings.

“The kind of cricket we played in the Test series, our intent was aggressive all the time. So here again our intent will be aggressive, play intensive cricket and play to our strength rather than focussing on opponent’s strengths and weaknesses,” Rahane said.

“I am really looking forward to the one-day series, especially after the Test series. But again it is important to start fresh here. Momentum will be the key. Winning the first match will be very important to be in that momentum,” Rahane said.

Welcome move

India has rested three senior cricketers in Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja from the series, keeping in mind the long season ahead. With an aim to broaden the bench strength, the new selection committee, headed by M.S.K. Prasad, has included a few youngsters — Jayant Yadav, Axar Patel, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mandeep Singh and Manish Pandey — in the ODI squad.

Rahane welcomed the move by the selectors to give new guys opportunity at the highest level. “I am really excited about the new guys coming into the team. It’s really energising, everyone is looking in good shape. The guys have done pretty well in India A series and few guys did well in Ranji Trophy matches,” he said.

“It’s all about giving the new guys confidence and opportunity at the highest level.”

Rahane also refused to think as far as the Champions Trophy. “As of now it is important for us to focus on this series rather than thinking about the Champions Trophy. It’s still a long way to go for the Champions Trophy. We will play one match at a time,” he said.

Talking about his new role as vice-captain of the Test side, Rahane said he relishes the responsibility of Virat Kohli’s deputy. “I don’t believe in seniority or juniority. It’s all about learning at every step and giving inputs. I really learnt a lot as vice-captain.

“On the field it is important for you to stay alert all the time because there are plenty of things going on in a captain’s mind. So as a vice-captain, it is important to stay alert all the time and whatever inputs you have you pass it on to your captain,” he concluded.