Adelaide, Dec 4 : Ajinkya Rahane found success on India’s previous tour of Australia, now with the team back in the country to play four Tests, the middle-order batsman is keen to put the learnings from last time to good use.
Rahane made 399 runs from eight innings on that 2014-15 tour, at an average of 57. In the last couple of years, however, his form has suffered a dip: he averages just 29.66 from 15 innings in 2018. But he knows what he has to do in Australia, and is keen to build on his starts.
The batsman believes that the Australian conditions and the Kookaburra ball put the onus on the middle order, an ICC report said.
“When you bat at No.4 or 5, it’s important to give yourself some time, at least the first 15-20 minutes,” he told mediapersons on Tuesday, ahead of the first Test on Thursday.
“You’ve to visualise the situation from your dressing room. Because you cannot just sit around the dressing room,” he went on. “Visualisation is very important and winning the situation as a batsman is important.”
Stressing on partnerships, Rahane said, “When you bat with Nos. 6, 7, 8, 9, you have to know when to attack and when to play a defensive game.”
The Indian batsmen, for the most part, struggled with the swinging conditions in England. Rahane was hopeful that it would be easier for them in Australia.
“With the Kookaburra ball, we know that from 30-35 overs, till 80 overs, it’s comparatively easy to bat. But when you bat in England, with the Dukes ball, you know you’re never set in English conditions. You’ve got to have positive mindset,” he said.
This is being seen as India’s best chance to win a series Down Under, given that the hosts are without Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, who are serving bans.
Rahane, however, dismissed suggestions that the home side were “vulnerable” and declared them favourites. “Any team that plays at home, they’re really good,” he said. “Australia are still the favourites to win the series. We are not going to take them lightly."
“Yes, they’ll miss Steve Smith and David Warner, but I don’t think they are vulnerable. You see their bowling attack – when you have to win a series, Test matches, you have to have a good bowling attack. So I feel Australia are still the favourites,” Rahane said.
The batting, while relatively inexperienced, could still be “dangerous”, he declared. “In their conditions, they know how the wicket behaves.”(UNI)