Ajinky Rahane was pretty sure that question about his indifferent form would be raised by the people sitting outside.
Team India Skipper Virat Kohli defended Rahane, after loosing against Australia by227 run at Chenaai says Rahane hasn’t scored too many runs before or after the Melbourne Test against Australia where his hundred enabled India to draw the series level.
“See we are playing at home after two years. Our last home series was against South Africa. If you take (the scores of that series) out, you will find something over there,
” Rahane answered in third person with a deadpan expression referring to his scores of 59 and 115 against the Proteas in that 2019 series.
“It’s all about the team and not the individual and my focus is how can I contribute for the team. If you take out the last 10-15 Test matches, you will see some runs over there.
“I don’t need to think about what’s happening on the outside,” the vice-captain, who has scored around 1000 runs in his last 15 long form game, said.
It was a different Rahane, someone who was not ready to take a backward step when faced with difficult questions.
“If you are trying to dig in and find some ‘masala’ (controversy), unfortunately you will not get it. Look, body language can be a bit down at times and the wicket was such in the first 2 days, it could be because of that. There could be many reasons.” The answer was pretty similar to what Kohli gave .
Rahane responded when asked about a change in approach from Cheteshwar Pujara after his defensive batting in Australia, which earned a lot of praise from pundits.
“See no one questioned his batting approach in the team and that’s what matters. What people talk outside doesn’t matter to us,” Kohli’s deputy whacked the delivery straight into the stands.
“The way he played in Australia and the way he played now, it’s really important for us. He has played 80 odd Test matches and knows his game really well, no one questioned his ability,” he said.
The most integral factor, according to Rahane, is not over-analysing a defeat which can lead to a negative mind-set.
Asked what exactly do players mean when they say that “we have to regroup”, he replied, “Regrouping is addressing concerns but not tending to over-think.
“At times when you lose, you tend to delve deep into the reasons and that brings in negativity and it’s not your fault but you still start blaming yourself.
“What happened in the last Test, we need to accept…We need to move on and the endeavour should be on how to do well in all departments of the game.”