mid-day exclusive: Ajinkya Rahane to watch IND vs SA from his hotel balcony

Updated: Jun 04, 2019, 10:01 IST | Harit N Joshi

Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane to watch India v South Africa clash from the balcony of his hotel accommodation with English county outfit Hampshire

mid-day exclusive: Ajinkya Rahane to watch IND vs SA from his hotel balcony
Rahane in the UK, where he is playing for Hampshire. PIC/Amit Shah

Harit N JoshiSOUTHAMPTON: Guests at Mumbai's Cricket Club of India, Churchgate could boast about watching matches from their rooms at the south Mumbai club. While that is not the case now, far away in the United Kingdom, guests at top hotels near the Ageas Bowl here can soak in the World Cup action from their rooms. One guest at one five-star hotel happens to be India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane.

Ajinkya Rahane can't wait for the start of tomorrow's India v South Africa game at the picturesque venue. "I will watch them [Team India] from my room. I will also try and watch all their games on days when I am not playing," Rahane told mid-day yesterday.

The Mumbai man is here for a county stint with Hampshire with the Ageas Bowl being the county's home ground. Rahane, who was part of India's playing XI in the last World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand, was not considered for this edition. 

'Vital to keep momentum'

However, the veteran of 90 ODIs, shows no signs of bitterness. "I am backing India to win the World Cup. It is a good team, very well-balanced. The format [for the World Cup] is different this time [with teams playing each other once], so it is important to have the momentum," he said.

When he missed out on the World Cup berth, Rahane signed up for Hampshire Cricket to make the most of a two-month gap.

Being the first Indian player to represent Hampshire, Rahane cracked a century in his very first game and is enjoying batting at his favourite No. 3 position. "It has been a good experience so far. I have been here only for a couple of weeks, but there is a lot of excitement in our team. It's been a great learning experience. The best thing is that I am getting a chance to bat at No. 3 which is my position when I play for Mumbai," Rahane said. 

The right-handed batsman's purpose is clear as far as his county stint is concerned. The Mumbai batsman averages just 29.26 in 10 Tests in England, which is his lowest in any country that he has played in.

'A different challenge'

"It is a different challenge playing in England. In overcast conditions, the ball swings and when the sun is out, it is good for batting. The most important thing that I am learning here is to develop trust in my batting. I am enjoying my batting here. You also learn a lot from your teammates.

"Playing close to the body and playing late are important in these conditions. Another important thing about playing for Hampshire is how you switch off from cricket. It is so critical as constantly thinking about cricket can be harmful. I am concentrating on my diet, training and pushing the limits. My sole aim is to always find ways to get better at my game. I have five more matches left here and I am looking forward to learn many things," said Rahane.

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