India’s top-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane has expressed his satisfaction over his first practice session alongside his teammates at the scenic Lord’s cricket ground on Friday while terming it as a ‘fantastic’ one prior to the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.
While speaking to Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) digital medium, Rahane believes the team is high on confidence after enjoying their first customary practice session at Lord’s.
“It’s important to have fun while playing cricket as well, because you can’t be serious all the time. It’s such a great unit to be part of. We [Team India] had a wonderful first practice session at Lord’s,” Rahane told BCCI.tv.
On May 26, Team India had a gruelling practice session after they touched down the London airport on Wednesday night as senior batsman Yuvraj Singh missed out the net session after being caught up in fever.
Rahane revealed if the side will play to their strength and potential they’re not away from retaining the coveted trophy this time around.
“It’s important to respect each and every team and individual. We are looking forward to play to our potential and strength that will be a key for us,” Rahane remarked.
The 14 out of 15-men squad gave a whack at everything at the iconic ground, in order to boost themselves before the start of the global event on June 1st which included fielding drills and a football session.
Interestingly, India retained nine players, who were eventually the part of 2013 ICC Champions Trophy squad. The Maharashtra-born 28-year-old batsman, Rahane played a vital role for India in the second Investec Test in 2014 when he smashed 103 at Lord’s, as India went on to win the Test eventually by 95 runs.
“My first reaction was to look my name on the board. Getting my name on the Lord’s honours board scoring a hundred on a winning side in the Test match was very special for me,” Rahane recalls.
For this multilateral event, the selectors named six new-comers which further has the list of five stand-in players in the form of Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Suresh Raina, Rishabh Pant and fast bowler Shardul Thakur.
“Many players have come to this historic ground for the first time and it has been a really good experience for them,” Rahane maintained.
The Virat Kohli-led side is confident enough to give their best in the English conditions, as they are looking forward to retaining the coveted title which they lifted under the tutelage of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the seventh edition of ICC Champions Trophy.
“Feels really good to be back at Lord’s [Stadium]. The idea is to get ready and give your best,” Rahane asserted.
The right-handed batsman, who has been the part of Indian Premier League franchise Rising Pune Supergiant, revealed of playing a competitive cricket while making a contribution for each other in a bid to compensate for each other in the mega event would help a lot.
“We are looking to play some good cricket in the warm-up games and gear up for the Champions Trophy,” Rahane added.
In a blockbuster game, India will play its opener against Pakistan on June 4 before facing Sri Lanka on 8th of June at The Oval and South Africa on June 11 at the same venue in a Group B fixture.
Before beginning the Champions Trophy campaign, Men in Blue will face New Zealand on May 28 and Bangladesh on May 30 in the warm-up fixtures at the Kennington Oval in London.
Here’s his video:
— BCCI (@BCCI) May 27, 2017