Ajinkya Rahane has become one of the batting mainstays of this young Indian cricket team. His consistent performances in overseas conditions have saved India on numerous occasions and once again he had a good overseas series in West Indies where he  scored 243 runs in first three matches including one century and a half-century.

“I always strive to improve and I am satisfied with my performance in the Caribbean. I had prepared specially to face the Dukes red ball. It is different to play red Dukes than kookaburra as the ball seams and swings more than other balls. For that you need to play close to the body and as late as possible. That was my endeavour and I was happy with my execution. It would have been great had we won 3-0 but you can’t control the weather,” said Rahane during an interaction with the Press Trust of India.

With a bumper home season awaiting where India is scheduled to play as many as 13 Tests, Rahane will have to play a big role if the Indian team wants to continue its domination at home.

“I know I have a job at hand but I never set targets beforehand. I believe setting targets takes you too much into future. Looking too far ahead can clutter your mind. Instead like taking each day as it comes. Right now, the focus will be on New Zealand series,” Rahane said.

Speaking on his preparation for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand, the right-handed batsman said: “I always discuss my batting with my childhood coach Praveen Amre. It won’t be any different this time also. Obviously, the preparations for each series is slightly different. But obviously, you never reveal your strategy before the series starts. The key is to always remain three steps ahead of the opposition.”

The last time India faced New Zealand in the World T20, the Indian team were humiliated by the Kiwis as they were dismissed for a paltry score of 79. And Rahane will be well aware of the threat possessed by the New Zealand attack.

“It’s a decent attack. They have Trent Boult, also good spinners like Mitch Santner and Ish Sodhi. We can’t let our guard down,” he said.

Team India’s coach Anil Kumble has been praised by the Indian cricketers and Rahane was no different. The Mumbai batsman praised Kumble for his unmatched passion even after retiring from the game.

“He has been phenomenal with his inputs. He has left international cricket for nearly 8 years but nothing seems to have changed. His passion is unmatched. He has an eye for every minute detail. He told me that I am doing well and the key to consistency is focussing on routines,” he said.

    An avid sports lover, i always wanted to pursue a career in football. But just like the millions out there i did not put in the hard work needed to achieve my dream and now i have become a fan instead of the player. Anyway, writing for sports has kept me closer to this field. One more thing, yours sincerely is a die-hard Liverpool fan. You will never walk alone.

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