Ajinkya Rahane had a chat with NDTV and talked about his preparations for the South Africa tour. Rahane, who is going through a hard time with the bat said his preparations is no different from last time.
When India had traveled to South Africa last time in 2013, Rahane came very close to scoring a century at the Kingsmead stadium. India lost the match by 10 wickets, but the Indian ace batsman had scored 96 in the second innings.
Talking about his preparations he said, "Preparations this time around is not completely different. When we went last time, I had 3-4 days of preparation before going to South Africa and I had such a good experience playing there. I played 2 Test matches there and it was my first Test tour. I learned a lot from that series but again this will be a different challenge. When we went there last time the team was completely new, but this time all the boys are experienced and we have been there, we know the conditions. Yes, the conditions will be different this time. I am just trying to add new things so that I will be much better while handling the bowlers."
Rahane has 'the best Indian batsman overseas' tag with him. When asked if that adds extra pressure on the Indian vice-captain he said, "I love taking responsibility, whether I am batting or fielding and it is a great opportunity for me to do well for my country, contribute to my country. I am actually working hard to get better and better. I love the challenge of vice-captaincy. I want to be a match winner for my country, be it Test cricket, ODI cricket or T20s."
India is led by a young skipper Virat Kohli. He has a very different mindset than India's former skipper MS Dhoni. When asked about how much his mindset impacts the team, Rahane said, "He has been very good we all know that, he has been so consistent in all the formats. He leads from the front, gives confidence to each and every player. He is completely a positive player and likes to give his best on the field. He backs his teammates and encourages each one to give their best for the team."
Considering India's recent performance at home, everyone is expecting to see India performing like number one Test team in South Africa too.
Ajinkya Rahane answered what are the chances of the current Indian team to retain the number 1 team tag. "As a team, we are confident but it's all about giving your best in that particular match. We are going to play against South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia in the next few months. But it's about staying in the present and giving your best. Right now, we are just focusing on South Africa. We know the kind of challenges we face. I am confident, if we stick to our basics and express ourselves, get used to the conditions, will do very well."