MS Dhoni came up with great ideas on-field when needed, says Ajinkya Rahane

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MS Dhoni came up with great ideas on-field when needed, says Ajinkya Rahane

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SportsCafe Desk

07/15/2017

Ajinkya Rahane revealed that MS Dhoni's innovative on-field ideas helped the Indian team against the West indies and the team is lucky to have him on board in the limited over formats of the game. Rahane also stated that Indian skipper Virat Kohli's backing helped him play freely in the series.

Ajinkya Rahane was India's best batsman in the five match ODI series against West Indies on their home turf and scored four consecutive half centuries while opening for the men in blue, breaking a plethora of records. The 29-year old ended up scoring 336 at an average of 67.2 that included a century which also earned him the man of the series award.

Virat Kohli has always admitted to consulting MS Dhoni when in a quandary over a specific decision and Rahane noted the same, further adding that the former skipper was always up for the task when consulted by Kohli and came up with innovative and great ideas that helped the team against the Windies.

"It's great to have MS Dhoni around. We are all lucky to have him. It becomes easier for Virat with him around. Many times Virat went and asked him opinions and he comes up with great ideas. It's good to see both of them working together," Rahane told India Today. 

Rahane was picked up in the Indian ODI squad to replace Rohit Sharma after a long break and the Mumbai batsman revealed that Indian skipper Virat Kohli's backing helped him play with confidence throughout the series.

"Virat told me in West Indies to back myself and not to take pressure. He told me you are the best and know how to handle the situation. When the captain asks you to bat with freedom and says I am backing you and the team is with you, what more do you want."

Rahane was criticised for the slowness of his innings that was perceived by many to hurt the team as a whole but the 29-year old clarified that it was sometimes required to familiarise oneself with the nature of the pitch and the conditions.

"I am naturally an attacking and instinctive player. But on times one has to adopt and grind. In England we had good wickets. In West Indies, you had tennis ball bounce and it was slower. One has to take time and grab opportunities. In West Indies I remember the first match in Trinidad gave me confidence to score quickly in the second where I was batting with compete freedom. I knew the wickets better. It is a mental switch one needs to make" 

India enjoyed dominance over world class opposition in Australia, New Zealand, and England in a long home season and will next head out to protect their number one title in Test rankings against Sri Lanka, South Africa, and England. Rahane believes the wins had made the team more confident and the men in blue will be looking to capitalise on it.

"Last season gave us a lot of confidence. 13 Tests and particularly the fast bowlers performance was too good to see. We will have Sri Lanka next, South Africa, England later, a lot of challenges away from home. But that's the beauty of this game. That's where you want to do well."

Rahane has featured in the Indian team lineup in all the formats the game has to offer and he admitted that donning the Indian colours in all formats has made him more confident as a cricketer.

"Yes, I am a more confident player now with greater self belief. At the highest level, how strong you are mentally, that matters. But I always stick to the process, I am confident but not overconfident."

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