WTC 2021 Final: "I’ll play my natural game" - Ajinkya Rahane on criticism of his batting

Rahane is India's highest run-getter in ICC WTC with 1095 runs in 17 matches.

Ajinkya Rahane is India's highest run-getter in ICC WTC with 1095 runs in 17 matches | Getty

India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has been a star for the team in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship (WTC), given that he is the leading run-scorer for India with 1095 runs in 17 games at 43.80. Despite a lull period in the middle, Rahane has managed to find unwavering support from the team management.

In his last 18 innings, Rahane has made one hundred and one fifty, but he said that he's not living in the past ahead of the WTC final.

"It feels special [to be the leading run-scorer]. I'm happy to take criticism. I feel because of the criticism, I'm here. I always want to give my best, whether people criticize me or not. For me what is important is to give my best for my team, my country and contribute, each and every time. Be it as a batter or as a fielder.

WTC 2021 Final: Umesh Yadav says he’s ready to put more than 100%; prepared for all conditions

I don't really think about criticism. If people criticize me, that's their thing and that's their job. I cannot control these things. I always focus on the controllable, putting my best foot forward, and following my process. And the result follows," Rahane said in the presser ahead of the WTC final.

Ajinkya Rahane is no stranger to the Ageas Bowl in Southampton where the final of the WTC between India and New Zealand will be played from June 18 onwards. He played county cricket for Hampshire in 2019 and three of his four half-centuries in Tests in England have come during two Tests here, both of which India lost.

Ajinkya Rahane at Ageas Bowl during 2018 Test | Getty"I like to be in the present. I've been at this venue many times now, played for Hampshire also. Yes, I know the conditions but what is important is to be in the moment, be in the present and adjust to the conditions on that particular day. Being the highest run-scorer doesn't matter now. Whatever happened, that was past.

WTC 2021 Final: No Jadeja, Ishant in Sanjay Manjrekar's India XI for final against New Zealand

"I'll be playing my natural game. Doesn't bother me much, what my record is in England as long as I'm contributing to my team. For me, winning is more important - whether I score 100 or score less ... Even if I score 30-40 runs, if those 30-40 runs are valuable, I'm happy. It's all about the team, it's all about contribution, so I don't want to put too much pressure on myself,” Rahane added.

As it has been with Rahane over the umpteen media interactions, he dead-batted questions on team combination giving away virtually nothing.

"We are yet to decide about our combination. We still have two practice sessions left,” he said.

"Batters play a key role in England. The bowlers get a lot of help over here and we have a big responsibility. Everyone has a different game plan. It's about backing your game-plan. We will take up the responsibility as batting unit and try to achieve the team's goal,” he signed off.

(PTI inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 16 Jun, 2021

    Share Via