Team India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is relishing the ever-increasing scrutiny of his batting. Rahane said on Monday that he’s happy to see the audience talk about him because only “important people” are subject to criticism. He added that he’s focussed on contributing to the team’s cause, irrespective of the noise outside.
Ajinkya Rahane’s form has blown hot and cold since his match-winning century in Melbourne last year. However, he showed some signs of old form with a gritty 146-ball 61 in the second innings at Lord’s. Rahane’s century stand with Cheteshwar Pujara rescued India from 55-3 and ultimately contributed to a huge win.
“I’m happy people are talking about me. I always believe people talk about important people, so I am not too concerned about that. It’s all about contributing to the team and Cheteshwar and I have been playing for a long time, we know how to handle pressure, we know how to bat in certain situations. We are just focussing on the team, we just want to contribute to the team and that’s what we are doing. Whatever we can’t control, we are not thinking about it,” Rahane said in a press-conference ahead of the 3rd India-England Test.
When asked for the source of his motivation, the vice-captain said he doesn’t need anything specific and simply playing for India does the job.
“Everything motivates me. Playing for the country motivates me a lot. I am not bothered about criticism as I mentioned. People only criticize important people and I am happy they are criticizing me. I only focus on controllables,” the Mumbaikar added.
Ajinkya Rahane averaged 18.67 in the home series against England soon after the historic Australian tour and recorded scores of 49 and 15 in the subsequent World Test Championship final against New Zealand. While the Lord’s half-century might have bought him a few more games, it will require a stable and consistent run for Rahane to get into safe waters.
“Team performance is the ultimate goal” – Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane further said that while poor form might prompt individuals to take another look at their gameplans, the team’s success always remains the “ultimate goal” for Virat Kohli’s men.
“I think team performance is the ultimate goal. Individually, you think about your gameplans, your methods, your good innings and whatever suits you, you back that method. But ultimately it’s all about whatever the team needs, whatever the team’s plans are, we just focus on that,” Rahane signed-off.
The 3rd Test at Headingley will start at 3:30 PM IST on Wednesday.