Boxing Day Test: Will score a double ton, says Ajinkya Rahane
India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane confident of coming good in the Boxing Day Test considering the kind of rhythm he is enjoying Down Under
A collective gasp went up in the press enclosure when Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed in the second innings of the Adelaide Test on December 9. After all, you don't associate the reverse-sweep in red-ball cricket with India's Test vice-captain.
By then, Rahane had made an energetic 70, a key element in India's 31-run win in the first Test. All series long, the right-hander has looked to impose himself. Three of his four dismissals have come while playing strokes, including a distant square drive in the second innings of the Perth Test when he picked out point.
The ploy to counter-attack was a conscious one which stemmed from visualisation, the Mumbaikar revealed at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday. "It comes naturally because I am an attacking batsman but definitely it needs visualisation, as also reading the situation, not only in my hotel room but also in the dressing room," Rahane said, two days before the third Test against Australia starting on Boxing Day. "When batting at No. 4 or 5, reading the situation is really important because we all know that the Australian attack can come really hard at us. The best option is to go in the middle and put them on the back foot; that is really important rather than just taking your time."
Rahane has scored two fifties but a hundred has remained elusive on tour. "I am sure it will come in this match," he said, drawing inspiration from having slammed a breathtaking 147 in the corresponding Test four years ago. "The way I am batting and the rhythm I am batting in, maybe 100 or even 200 is possible. It is more important for me not to think about it. If I can read the situation a bit better and play like that, it will be better for the team."
Rahane also mentioned the role Cheteshwar Pujara plays. "Sometimes, it is important to take your time also but we have Pujara who takes his time really well and bats in that manner. But batting at No. 4 or 5, you have to think ahead of the game, one or two steps ahead and think of counter-attack. So, visualisation helps me in that.
"The way I was visualising, I was thinking about what are the important shots on that particular wicket, first in Adelaide, then in Perth. You have to take that risk, you have to be brave to take that call because it can go either way," said Rahane.
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