Ind vs Eng: Respect bowlers, respect conditions, declares Ajinkya Rahane
2014 Lord's Test centurion Ajinkya Rahane declares gameplan for success ahead of tomorrow's opening Test against England at Edgbaston, Birmingham
The two-hour train journey from London to Birmingham provides evidence of the dryness of the English summer. The usually green shrubs that surround the railway tracks all the way to the horizon, have changed into straw coloured farmlands.
The case is somewhat similar in the middle of the Edgbaston cricket ground. The 22-yard strip which will host tomorrow's opening Test of the Pataudi Trophy, was devoid of any grass. The adjacent pitches had an abundance of bare patches.
Meanwhile, on the Colts ground, that sits behind the Eric Hollies Stand of the main stadium, the Indian batsmen had a rigorous workout in the nets against their seamers. For over an hour the pace battery hammered away at the usual suspects. Importantly, each member worked with the new ball. There were brief periods in between when you did not hear the sweet sound of ball hitting willow, as the Indian seamers get into their groove. During the intense workout, the sun played hide and seek with the clouds. The weather has got cooler since the last few weeks and the first Test is likely to be played in typical English conditions barring the brown-looking pitch.
India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is aware of the constantly changing weather patterns and felt success can only be achieved by virtue of patience and by backing your instincts.
"In England, patience is the key. If the weather changes, it's important for the batsman to hold back and respect the bowler, respect the conditions. If you're set as a batsman here, you should really make it count. Bowlers from both teams are going to bowl well," Rahane told reporters yesterday.
Rahane said India have the skills to prevail in the series provided they capitalise on the right moments. He was also quick to praise the Indian bowlers, saying that the unit is among the best in the world. "More than skills, it's about our mindset. It will be a test of our mind and character here," he said. "No one expected us to take 20 wickets in each of the three Tests [in South Africa in January]. At the same time, they [bowlers] should not put extra pressure on themselves and should just look to enjoy the moment. They need to back themselves and believe that our bowling unit is the best in the world," he added.
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