Ajinkya Rahane was not glued to the television yesterday. Nor was he getting restless when the national selectors met at the BCCI headquarters in Churchgate yesterday to pick the team for five ODIs and one T20I against Sri Lanka commencing on July 22.
It wasn’t that the Mumbai batsman was not anticipating his selection either. “I got a call from my father (Madhukar) about my selection in the team,” Rahane told MiD DAY. “I am obviously feeling good about it. I know it is a good opportunity for me and I want to do my best,” he added.
Rahane, who last played for India in December 2011, will get another chance to don the team colours after his good showing in the Indian Premier League-V. He finished as the tournament’s fourth highest run-getter with 560 runs in 16 matches.
Though he started on a low note during the recently-concluded India ‘A’ tour to West Indies, Rahane scored two half-centuries (79 and 58) in the second T20 and first one-dayer to regain his touch.
“That (India ‘A’ tour) experience will certainly help me in Sri Lanka. I have been in good touch and I am confident of doing well. But I have to start from the scratch. It is a new beginning for me. The conditions will also be different,” said the 24-year-old, who has scored 340 runs in 11 ODIs.
Rahane, who is not well versed with Sri Lankan conditions, will not leave any stone unturned in his preparations. “I want to do well in whatever opportunity I get on the tour. I will speak to players who have been there (Sri Lanka) before. I don’t have any particular player in mind as such at the moment. I am waiting for the camp to get started,” he concluded.
The squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virat Kohli (vc), Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Gautam Gambhir, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Suresh Raina, Vinay Kumar, Rohit Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma.
Perfect timing for Rahane: Dravid
Ajinkya Rahane’s Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid lauded the Mumbai batsman’s selection in the squad of 15 for the limited overs series Sri Lanka. Dravid, who was in the city for a book launch yesterday, told MiD DAY: “I think it’s the perfect opportunity for Ajinkya at this time. He is in good form and this opportunity will help him. I hope he does well. He is a very talented cricketer.”