After leading India to a Test win in his very first match as the stand-in skipper in March, Ajinkya Rahane was benched during the all five matches of the Champions Trophy in June. From the captain of the team to warming the bench inside three months would have been tough for any player but Rahane is an exception. The right-handed batsman said he was not minding carrying the drinks during the Champions Trophy.
“If I am the vice-captain of the Test team, it does not mean that I will not be performing my duties as a 12th man in ODIs. The moment you are representing your country, you are supposed to do whatever you are assigned. When I was carrying drinks during the Champions Trophy, I had no ego issues. That’s how I am as a person,” Rahane said.
The 29-year old, nevertheless, got the chance to open the innings against during the West Indies tour when Rohit Sharma was rested and he made the most of it. He finished the five-match series as its highest scorer, amassing 336 runs at an average of over 67 with the help of three half-centuries and one century and deservedly bagged the Man of the Series award. The series will surely force the team management to consider Rahane seriously for a regular place in the playing XI and the batsman has admitted that the series was important for his career.
“West Indies was a special series for me simply for the consistency that I was able to show. This series is an important one for my ODI career and getting runs in almost all the matches was a really satisfying feeling. I got opportunity to show a different side to my batting and express myself differently,” said Rahane.
While Rahane was very consistent with his batting performances in the Caribbeans, his striker-rate, as always, came under criticism. Rahane has showed in the IPL that he can take the attack to the bowlers and said that he was compelled to change his natural ‘attacking style’ due to the pitches in West Indies.
“By instinct, I am an attacking batsman but the pitches in the West Indies required a different mindset. It required patience and at times not get enticed to go for the big ones. Discretion was necessary in shot selection,” he said.
“And when we talk about discretion, that’s where the mind comes into play – to be able to think clearly what are the shots that I am going to play in a particular situation, on a particular kind of pitch,” he added.