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Indians not bad players of short-ball: Rahane

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
Last updated on: March 11, 2020 18:38 IST
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Ajinkya Rahane

IMAGE: Ajinkya Rahane says Indian batsmen’s bad run in New Zealand was largely due to the wind factor. Photograph: West Indies Cricket

Insisting that India's batsmen are not bad players of the short-ball, Ajinkya Rahane attributed the team's bad run in New Zealand to the wind factor.

 

India's Test team vice-captain, who had scores of 46, 29 (in Wellington) and 7, 9 (in Christchurch) on the recent tour, said the criticism that they do not play the short-ball well does not hold merit.

"People are speaking too much about it (short balls). If you see the Melbourne (Test) innings, we have dominated. We all play short-balls well; one game doesn't make you bad players of short ball," he told reporters in Mumbai on Wednesday.

"They (NZ bowlers) used the breeze factor very well because in New Zealand; it was the biggest factor, cutting the angle and pace. We have to stay focussed and positive, and the next series is in Australia and there is a long way to go. Looking forward to that."

Rahane was referring to the 2018 Melbourne Test against Australia, which India won by 137 runs. Cheteshwar Pujara scored a hundred, while Virat Kohli, Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma stuck half-centuries in the first-innings.

"Personally, if you see my Melbourne innings against Australia, I was counter-attacking and played short-ball wells. It is important to learn what went wrong playing short balls in New Zealand. As long as I am on that path to improve; if next time the opposition comes and bowls short balls at me, and if I feel like hitting it, I'll hit," he said.

"We have really done a good job in the last three-four years. Now Test Championship has started. In this journey you are going to win and lose some matches," he added.

He also said he is not overtly worried about his own poor run.

"I am not too much worried about that and I am not going too much deep into that. Test Championship is all about one match and one series at a time; one match at a time because points are involved, because one bad game or two bad games will not make us bad team.

"We learnt a lot from New Zealand series, they played well. As a team, there is some learning as a batting and bowling unit."

The Mumbai batsman, who has scored 4,203 runs in 65 Tests, also dwelt on the importance of having shadow tours. He, however, stressed that the pitches during the shadow tours should be the same as they are in international games.

"It is important to have a shadow tour because you get to know the conditions well. The only thing I feel is the wickets that we get in shadow games are completely different than what we get in international games," he said.

"If we can get similar conditions that we get in international matches, that will be better. The game that I played for India A in New Zealand, that was a complete flat wicket," he added.

He said it is also important to play domestic cricket.

Asked whether he would prefer playing the Ranji Trophy or shadow tours, he replied: "You have got to balance it out. Domestic cricket is really important. As a Test player, if you get time to play domestic cricket, you should play it, but I still feel it's important to have a shadow tour ahead of an overseas Test series.

"BCCI has done a really good job by starting shadow tours. But whenever I can, I always give importance to Ranji Trophy."

Following the outbreak of the novel coronovirus there are several sporting tournaments that have been either postponed or cancelled. And Rahane said it is for the BCCI to take a call on the Indian Premier League.

"BCCI and IPL governing council will take a decision. I cannot comment on it because I feel they are the best judges and they will take a call on this. I am sure BCCI and governing council will discuss it with the teams and they will come up with a solution and am sure they will have the best answers," Rahane, who has an association with Mahindra-backed start-up 'Mera Kisan', said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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