Ajinkya Rahane has claimed that Team India will give their best to win their first-ever series in South Africa that starts on January 5 in Cape Town. The Indian Test vice-captain has also added that the team are ready to take any kind of challenge posed by the strong bowling attack of South Africa.
Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, Team India will play their first series on the South African soil and, going by the form of the team, the team can prove the naysayers wrong. India visited the African nation for the first time in 1992 and returned with a 1-0 series loss and since then the team
"Yes, and we will do our best to win the series there. Above all, we are just looking to play good cricket," Rahane told NDTV.
"South Africa is a very good team. They have a very good attack, where they know their conditions really well. So we don't want to take them lightly, but at the same time, we want to give our best," he added.
Ajinkya Rahane’s current form definitely a topic of concern for the team. The middle-order batsman has scored runs at an average of 69.66 in South Africa. But his experience in the Test series against Sri Lanka was not very impressive as he managed only 17 runs in three games. Apart from the role in the batting line-up, he has the responsibility of his team as a vice-captain as well.
"I love taking responsibility, whether I am batting or fielding and it is a great opportunity for me to do well for my country, contribute to my country. I am actually working hard to get better and better. I love the challenge of vice-captaincy. I want to be a match winner for my country, be it Test cricket, ODI cricket or T20s," he added.
Earlier, it was planned that Team India would play two practice games against South Africa Board President’s XI before the start of the all-important series. However, reports then emerged that instead of practice matches, Team India had planned to hire a ground for the training session for more productive outputs. Some cricket experts didn’t like the idea but Rahane supported management’s decision as they are taking a few net bowlers from India to help them in practice.
"The good thing about this is we got good quality of bowlers. Since they have done well in domestic cricket, it's better to face them. Sometimes what happens in overseas practice games is that we get flat wickets and ordinary bowlers. That does not help in preparations. It's a good decision the management has taken. We are going to have some good net sessions and that will be quality practice. If you prepare well that actually matters in the Test cricket," he added.
India will play three Tests, six One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals in South Africa, starting January 5.