'Little pressure is good as it helps you concentrate'
Missing out on a hundred can be demoralizing for any batsman. More so if his is a fledgling career. Ajinkya Rahane's fell nine runs short of maiden ton in the third One-dayer against England.
However, the disappointment of having missed out on a personal landmark was limited to a considerable extent when his effort helped his team score a series-clinching win.
In the hindsight, he could afford to exult in the latter rather than regretting the former. "I was obviously disappointed in not getting a century," admitted Rahane.
"But after making 91 if your team wins, it gives you more satisfaction," he added. The knock marked the first big contribution from the makeshift opener in this series and the young batsman made no effort to camouflage his failure in the opening two one-dayers.
"My performance in the first two matches was bad and I was a little upset," admitted Rahane.
"I did not want to repeat the same mistakes. I spoke to Mahi bhai (captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni) and the coach (Duncan Fletcher) and they told me to play my natural game which had got me runs in the recent past," he added.
Image: Ajinkya Rahane
'Mahi bhai has done well to keep the team together'
The 23-year-old took the advice well. "Mahi bhai told me to back myself. I wanted to give myself some time to settle down for I knew I could play my shots later," explained Rahane.
"Besides, while chasing a big total (299 in Mohali) there is some pressure and a little pressure is good as it helps you concentrate better," he added.
Having played a stellar role in helping India clinch the series, Rahane could afford to explain the debacle in England that preceded the series.
"We did well in England too," he said.
"But there are times in cricket when results don't go your way even when you are doing well, he continued, adding, "We know the conditions here and have taken advantage of these.
"And Mahi bhai has done well to keep the team together. We are backing each other, the youngsters have done well and the team management (and the seniors) has been very helpful."
Image: MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja
'It's a proud moment for me to play at Wankhede'
With runs behind him, come Sunday Rahane would get an opportunity to play on his home ground – the Wankhede.
"It's a proud moment," he explained, failing to conceal his emotional side. The World Cup final (against Sri Lanka) was held here and we had won that," he continued, adding, "It is good to represent a world champion team.
"It's my home ground and it is a big moment for me."
Another good knock from his blade with ensure a perfect home debut for Rahane. And yet another win for Team India.
Image: Ajinkya Rahane