Indian right-handed batsman Ajinkya Rahane feels that the performance in the first Test in Kanpur against New Zealand will set their tone for the remaining 13 Tests on home soil. He also expects the Kanpur wicket to assist the Indian spinners.
“It is exciting times for us with the 13 Tests scheduled at home. The West Indies tour went well for us. Some players also featured in the Duleep Trophy before the New Zealand series. We feel we are in pretty good space at the moment,” Rahane said
India will begin the home season with a three-Test series against New Zealand, followed by England, Australia, and Bangladesh. The pitch has been the talking point again before the start of a home series.
However, Rahane insisted that the team is focused only on performing, irrespective of the conditions. India’s outdoor practice session yesterday was washed out due to heavy rain. “The weather is not in our control but we have generally seen slow and low wickets here, like it was in the ODI against South Africa last year. Every day [of the game] the pitch behaves different so we will have to analyse how it would play out each day. Anyway as a team we don’t focus on the pitch, we are focused on putting up a good performance,” Rahane said.
“Hopefully the wicket will turn. We all know in India that wickets are helpful for the spinners. That is our strength here and it is important to play to our strengths. As of now not sure how the wicket will behave,” said the batsman.
In the last home series against South Africa, two out of the four games did not last beyond three days with the pitch turning square and one match was a washout. Only the Delhi Test went into the fifth day. Rahane, however, said the team doesn’t think about the duration of the game going into any Test. “It is important to start from the scratch. Yes, we know we are playing 13 Tests. This Test will be very crucial. It will set the tone for the rest of the home season. We all are ready for that,” he concluded.