Ajinkya Rahane is indeed a very happy man after being declared as the captain of Indian cricket team for the upcoming Zimbabwe tour. He is pretty confident to handle this new responsibility. It is worthwhile to mention that the Team India is scheduled to play three ODIs and two T20 matches against the Zimbabwe team in the series starting from July 10. It is equally interesting to note that Rahane was not given a chance to play after the first One Day International (ODI) match against recently concluded Bangladesh series. For many of his supporters this opportunity of captaincy came as a surprise as the then Indian captain MS Dhoni had suggested that Rahane is required to work on a few aspects of his batting and that he had difficulties in rotating the strike on slower pitches.
However, Rahane, who is going to lead the team without the presence of a few seniors like Dhoni, Kohli and Dhawan, strongly believes that the role of captain has given him the opportunity to improve his batting technique in the ODI and T-20 formats. He also emphasized that he has a “great hunger to learn”
Rahane told BCCI “I know how capable I am and I believe in myself. I have learned a lot from whatever cricket I have played in the last four-five years. I wasn’t thinking about the captaincy. I didn’t know about it. It came as a surprise, but whatever domestic and international cricket I’ve played gave me confidence. I am a very hardworking guy. I always want to be the best in the world and I know my capabilities.”
Rahane has, so far played 55 matches ODI for India and has scored 1593 at an average of 30.63. His highest score remained 111. He has also played for team India in 11 T20 games, scoring 236 runs at an average of 21.45.
The right-handed batsman appreciating the learning he gained from a few of the seniors, said “Under Dhoni bhai, I have learnt a lot from his calmness and the way he handles everything on the field. Virat’s controlled aggression, which you can see in his batting and captaincy, is something I want to learn from him. Rahul (Dravid) bhai likes to keep things really simple and I was with him in Rajasthan Royals. I have my own ideas and I know what I have to do on the field. Obviously the senior players who will be there with me will advise me. The three things I have learned from those three captains are calmness, controlled aggression, and keeping things simple.”
He believes that one needs to think in a broader perspective and from all angles and react. He narrated “This has always been a part of me and I never spoke to Rahul bhai about captaincy in particular, but he spoke about how he would plan things as a captain. I’ve also observed Dhoni bhai closely, how he would plan, how his mindset would be. As a captain, you need to think from different angles according to the situation which is very important.”
Sharing his views on the upcoming tour against Zimbabwe, He said “As a captain, it’s important to back your players and give them confidence. It is very important to lead from the front, be positive and back your team. Whatever international side we play, we take them seriously. My motive would be to give all youngsters confidence; guys who came back, speak with them, give them confidence and motivate them.”
The Mumbaikar, further expressed his excitement in leading the team and said he looks forward to joining them. He concluded “I think this is a good team. Guys who did well in the IPL and domestic season have got their rewards. Every player played their part, and I’m really excited. They are great teammates and I am looking forward to joining them.”