‘Don't run after India selection, it will follow you’, Ajinkya Rahane recalls Rahul Dravid’s valuable advice

Rahane has come a long way since his India debut in 2011.

Ajinkya Rahane | GETTY

India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane recalled the advice from batting great Rahul Dravid that motivated him. It was during the Duleep Trophy, back in 2008-09, when Dravid had a chat with Rahane and guided the then youngster.

Dravid, being a senior, knew the mindset of a budding cricketer and told Rahane to keep the focus on his batting instead of Team India's call-up after good performances. 

"I remember in a Duleep Trophy final, we were playing against South Zone in 2008-09 and Rahul Dravid was playing in it in Chennai. I got runs in that game – 165 and 98. Rahul bhai called me up after the game and said, I’ve read about you a lot, you are scoring a lot of runs. As a player, it is very natural that you will start expecting an India call-up. All I would tell you is to keep on doing what you’ve been doing,” Rahane told former India cricketer Deep Dasgupta in an interview with ESPNCricinfo.

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"You keep focussing on that and India call-up will come automatically. Don’t run after it, it will follow you. Getting that advice from someone like Rahul bhai really motivated me a lot. That inspired me a lot. He has seen a lot of ups and downs. I got another thousand runs next seasons and two years after that, I was selected.”

Rahane performed consistently in domestic cricket and he got anxious after not getting picked for Team India. In the initial matches of his first Ranji Trophy season, the Mumbai batsman couldn't get many runs and there were high chances of him getting dropped. It was Pravin Amre who backed Rahane and it paid off for Mumbai.

“The first three or four games in my first season of Ranji Trophy did not go well. People had started to say that I should be dropped and sent back to club cricket but Pravin Amre, who was our coach at that time said that ‘once we have got someone into the side, we should at least give him 7-8 matches before deciding.’

“There used to be seven league matches at that time and my rest of the games went quite well, I scored runs and from then, for the next five seasons, I scored more than 1000 runs every time in First-class Cricket. So yes, after the first two three years I started thinking that I could get a call-up any day but the more I thought about it, the further it went away,” Rahane said.

(With ESPNCricinfo Inputs)


By Sihyeu Singh - 10 Jun, 2021

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