Ajinkya Rahane, Team India’s Vice-captain, seems to be enjoying the criticism being thrown at him for his recent batting performances. Rahane stated that he feels happy to see people talking about him, further saying that only “important people” are talked about. He added that he is focused on his batting and adding value to the team, so the outside negativity doesn’t bother him.
Rahane’s form has been on and off since his sensational match-winning century in Melbourne last year.However,it’s important to note that his determined 146-ball 61 in the second innings with his teammate Pujara at the other end was crucial in bringing India back into the match, after the visitors had lost three key wickets quickly.
In a press conference before the 3rd test set at Headingley,Rahane said, “I’m happy people are talking about me. I always believe people talk about important people, so I am not too concerned about that. It’s all about contributing to the team and Cheteshwar and I have been playing for a long time, we know how to handle pressure, we know how to bat in certain situations. We are just focussing on the team, we just want to contribute to the team and that’s what we are doing. Whatever we can’t control, we are not thinking about it”.
Rahane had also taken a dig at his haters in an Instagram post last week, donning a shiny green jacket with the caption, “My reaction when the trolls get trolled.”
When asked what motivates him, the Mumbaikar said, “Everything motivates me. Playing for the country motivates me a lot. I am not bothered about criticism as I mentioned. People only criticize important people and I am happy they are criticizing me. I only focus on controllables”.Ajinkya Rahane had averaged 18.67 in the series at India against England soon after the historic Australian tour and recorded scores of 49 and 15 in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.
Rahane said while poor form on an individual level might force others to analyze too much, Team India doesn’t think the same way.He added,”I think team performance is the ultimate goal. Individually, you think about your gameplans, your methods, your good innings and whatever suits you, you back that method. But ultimately it’s all about whatever the team needs, whatever the team’s plans are, we just focus on that.”
Debates had started circulating to replace Pujara and Rahane with Suryakumar Yadav and Hanuma Vihari after the duo’s poor performance and lack of contribution to the team in the first test.However, the experienced duo proved why selectors prefer “experience over hot blood” by their 100 run partnership in the second innings.Let us know in the comment box whether Pujara and Rahane must be played in the 3rd test too or whether the upcoming players should be given an opportunity to prove their worth.