The last few weeks in Ajinkya Rahane’s life have been like a typical Bollywood film. A serious low has soon been followed by a great high! The elegant Mumbai batsman was dropped from the ODI side after captain MS Dhoni felt that he struggled to get going in the subcontinent. Rahane was dropped after the first ODI in Bangladesh and Ambati Rayudu replaced him for the next two games.
However, in the very next week, the selectors named Rahane as the skipper of the Indian side which will be touring Zimbabwe for an ODI and a T20I series. Things couldn’t fluctuate so quickly for the shy Rahane. Speaking post his appointment as the skipper for the Zimbabwe tour, Rahane seemed positive. The right hander said that his main goal was to instill confidence in the players. Rahane also said that he wanted to improve his own performance in the ODI’s.
“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,” Rahane told BCCI.tv. “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,” said Rahane.
Rahane compared the different leadership styles of some Indian skippers. “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 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.
“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.”
Rahane said that being the skipper, it was his duty to ensure that no one took Zimbabwe lightly. “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.”
“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 team-mates and I am looking forward to joining them,” concluded Rahane.