NORTH SOUND (ANTIGUA): The biggest strength of this India side is the options they have at the top of the order. While Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma did well in the Champions Trophy, Ajinkya Rahane has stepped into Rohit’s shoes and given India great starts in this series. Importantly, Rahane adapted to the wickets in the Caribbean. While the wicket in Trinidad was good to bat on, the track here was difficult on Friday and Rahane did well to succeed, making 72 off 112 balls as India made 251/4. “I am an instinctive player, but I like to adapt. The wicket was completely different to Trindiad, the ball was stopping and coming. You needed time to concentrate. We were thinking of scoring 225-230 and Mahi bhai batted well.” This has been his strength. He has batted in the middle, waited for his chances and when the opportunity arrived at the top, he took it, scoring runs.
“When we came here, I was hungry and wanted to do well. I was batting well, so I wanted to make it count,” he said.
Asked if it is a struggle to stay motivated, Rahane said, “When I was not playing Champions Trophy, I was focusing on fitness training as well as my batting. It is good to learn about your batting and fitness.”
Rahane is not too bothered at which position he bats. When Rohit, rested for the series, and KL Rahul, recovering from shoulder surgery, return, there’ll be a fight for the top order and Rahane might have to fit into the middle-order.
“Whatever the team management asks me to do, I give 100%. It is a team sport and I believe in that. Whether I bat at the top or in the middle order, I always want to do well. I don’t know what I want to do in the future. My focus is to take one match at a time and win the series here.
“It was a matter of getting runs and being consistent. I would thank Virat for getting me this opportunity to bat at the top of the order. In England, I wanted to work hard on fitness. Luckily, it has come in handy.”