Ajinkya Rahane is alike Rahul Dravid in many aspects. Not only has his game on the field, but his off the field demeanor also mirrored that of the great Dravid. Rahane likes to keep things simple and cordial both on and off the field.
Currently leading the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2018, Rahane was interviewed by Sportstarlive.com and here are the excerpts from the interview.
Talking about captaining Rajasthan Royals, Rahane said, “I am enjoying this a lot. This is a different challenge for me. I think captaining an IPL side is completely different. Here, people come from different countries and have different cultures. The guys are looking really good. The players which we have are very supportive and very helpful. At the same time, they are very talented. As a captain, I am really lucky to have them as my team-mates.”
He further added, “For me, it was all about being positive and taking the challenge. When the franchise management group told me that I am the captain for the season, I was really excited. The happiness was to lead this Rajasthan Royals side because this franchise gave me that platform to express myself, especially in T20s. On the personal front, I was really thrilled when I came to know about the decision. At the same time, I knew there was a big responsibility coming my way. Not just a captain, it is also important to help my team-mates and get the best out of them because each and every individual is completely different.”
He felt that he has learned a lot from Rahul Dravid and said, “Definitely. We all miss Rahul bhai, because his contribution to Rajasthan Royals has been amazing. He was really happy to see us winning the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, and he told me to keep things simple and told us that we have been doing really well. I try to still learn from him as a captain. When he was leading the side, I learnt a lot from him—both on and off the field—and also (loved) the way he would handle the players, the support staff. At the end of the day, it is your responsibility to convey your message to each and every individual.”
Rahane also recalled leading Team India in the all-important Dharamshala Test against Australia last year.
He said, “For me, leading the Indian team in Dharamsala (in the final Test against Australia last year, where the team won the series), was a completely different game. The series was one-all and the Dharamsala game was the match to win and we all know how challenging it was. Losing Virat wasn’t easy as he was in great form. That was a new challenge and leading Rajasthan Royals, here, is again something different. But then, life is all about taking those challenges in a positive way and learning from those things. The idea is to move forward. As I said, this is still a learning phase for me as a captain, and I am looking forward to the forthcoming games.”
He spoke about the upcoming England tour, saying, “England will be a challenging series. As we all know that playing against England, in England, is definitely a big challenge. As a team, we all are doing well. We have got the best bowling attack now—the fast bowlers, the spinners. The batting unit is also fantastic, so there is still some two months left for the series, and I am excited. I am looking forward to playing in England.”
“We played well in South Africa. We played Australia well in the last series. Short balls, especially, have never been a problem. We all are well equipped, and we know what kind of shots we have. Every batsman is different from each other and their style is completely different. Our preparation will be the key before going to England. I am sure we will prepare ourselves really well before the Test series and perform there,” he added.
In the end, Rahane said, “I generally go series by series and match-by-match. The World Cup is my goal and doing well for my country and playing the role of a match-winner for my nation is the ultimate goal.”