On eve of departure to Zimbabwe for three ODIs and two Twenty20Is, Mumbai's new India skipper says he is confident of his leadership skills and will back his instincts throughout
One may have hardly seen Ajinkya Rahane express himself on the field given he rarely celebrates over the top even if he's taken a fine catch or scored an inspirational century.
True blue: India skipper Ajinkya Rahane during a press conference at a city hotel on the eve of the team's departure to Zimbabwe yesterday. Pic/Nimesh Dave
However, on the upcoming Zimbabwe tour, where the Mumbai lad will be leading India in three ODIs and two T20Is, one expects Rahane to be at his expressive best.
Rahane became the sixth captain from Mumbai to lead India after skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and some seniors opted to rest for this tour.
"Whenever I play, I normally visualise the situation, visualise the conditions and what I ccould do if I was captain. I do that visualisation regularly and I'm sure that will help me on this tour.
I am confident about myself. I have got my own ideas for the team; own rules about my captaincy. I will back my instinct on this tour," Rahane said at a city hotel yesterday on the eve of the team's departure to Harare.
Rahane, the leader
"As a leader, I want to see how Ajinkya Rahane is on the ground and how he carries his team. As a player, everyone knows how Rahane plays to a situation, but how I handle the team will be important," he added in the same breath.
While Rahane is keen to have his own uniqueness as captain, he also intends to bring to the table all that he has learnt from his India skipper Dhoni, his Rajasthan Royals mentor Rahul Dravid and last season's RR skipper Steven Smith.
"I have learnt a lot from all the captains I've played under. I've learnt from Dhoni bhai's calmness on the field, and simplicity from Rahul bhai. Steven Smith is an instinctive captain and he reacts according to the situation," he said.
Rahane's appointment as skipper on this tour came as a surprise since he was dropped from the last two ODIs against Bangladesh recently. Rahane, however, has taken it positively. "That's cricket for you," he said with a broad smile.
"I always take things in a positive way. I spoke to Dhoni bhai and he gave me his feedback and I've taken it in a positive way. I'm looking for consistency in ODIs. Whenever I bat in Tests and T20s, I am in a different zone. It's all about the mindset and how I prepare before a series. For me, consistency is key."
Meanwhile, Rahane said he was not consulted by the selectors on whether he wanted a replacement for lef-spinner Karn Sharma, who was ruled out of the Zimbabwe tour after fracturing the middle finger on his left hand.