Indian Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who last played an ODI in February 2018, wants to return to the ODI cricket as soon as possible. The right-handed batsman is ready to bat at any position, including the no.4 batting position.
Ajinkya Rahane made his international debut through the T20I cricket on 31st August 2011 (against England at Manchester). Just three days later, he played his first ODI in that same England tour (at Chester-le-Street). Rahane made his Test debut in March 2013 during the Delhi Test against Australia.
Till the date, Rahane has played 65 Tests, 90 ODIs and 20 T20Is, where the right-handed batsman has scored 4203 runs (average 42.88), 2962 runs (average 35.26) and 375 runs (average 20.83) respectively. While he is the present Test vice-captain and playing an important role in the Test side, he appeared in the T20I for the last time in August 2016 and ODI for the last time in February 2018.
Rahane is now desperate to return to the ODI cricket as he is ready to bat at any position, including the crucial no.4 batting position.
Rahane told the former Indian wicket-keeper Deep Dasgupta during an ESPNcricinfo chat show, “I am ready to bat at any position in ODI cricket, whether opening or No.4 or whatever, I am ready. My instinct answers yes, I want to make a comeback in ODI cricket. But when the opportunity will come, we don’t know. Mentally I am preparing to play all the formats. It is all about being positive yourself and about your abilities.”
While the no.4 batting position was vacant for a long time in the Indian ODI side, Shreyas Iyer has now set up his place in this spot after performing consistently.
I have enjoyed opening the innings, but I don’t mind batting at number 4: Ajinkya Rahane
In his ODI career, Rahane mostly opened and he performed best in the ODI cricket as an opener. After playing 54 ODI innings as an opener, he scored 1937 runs with an average of 36.54, including three centuries and 15 half-centuries. Meanwhile, he batted in the no.4 position in 25 ODIs, where the right-handed batsman scored 843 runs (average 36.65), including six half-centuries. He enjoyed both the positions.
Rahane added, “I have enjoyed opening the innings, but I don’t mind batting at number 4 if I am asked to. I have enjoyed both roles. It is very hard to suddenly open the innings and adjust to it after you have been batting at No.4 for a while, which I had done. It is hard to say which position I prefer. I can do well in both.”
Rahane, who hasn’t featured for the Indian T20I side in almost last four years, has also clarified that he doesn’t try to copy anyone in this shortest format.
Talking more about his startegy for the T20 cricket, Rahane added, “I think if you are sure of your shots, you should back them. If I am playing 18 overs, I aim to see how I can get my strike rate to 150-160. For example. if I am batting after sixth over, I have to plan accordingly.”
Rahane further added that he tried to follow the former Indian captain Rahul Dravid‘s advice in T20 cricket who said him to watch the ball and hit it without thinking about the bad or good shot.