Ajinkya Rahane appreciated Tendulkar's pep talk at a nets session and said that it helped him regain his mojo. The Indian batsman became the latest in a long line of cricketing personalities to lavish praise on the spin duo of Yadav and Chahal after their recent match-winning performances.
Ajinkya Rahane has always remained a curious case - a runaway success in red ball cricket but still struggling to find his feet in the 50-over version of the game. With at least one score of above 90 in all his last nine series, across eight countries, he is arguably India's most valuable asset in the whites, but his One-Day International numbers tell a totally different story. However, in recent times, he seems to be getting his groove back in the ODI cricket and he revealed that a discussion and nets session with Sachin Tendulkar added to his confidence.
Revealing what transpired between him and Sachin Tendulkar at the net session, Rahane said, “We had a net session four days back. He told me to back my own game. He also asked me to prepare well and have a good mindset. He spoke about mental preparation and how to remain mentally strong. I got a lot of confidence from his talk.”
Rahane got a chance to open the innings in the ongoing Australia series only after Shikhar Dhawan was released from the squad to attend to his ailing wife. Opportunities to showcase his talent against a team as big as Australia don’t come that easily and Rahane hopes to latched onto that to make sure he keeps himself in contention for the future limited-overs series.
"I don't think about the future. I do my best whenever I get my opportunities. That's what matters. I always think about staying in the present. When Shikhar comes back, we all don't know what's going to happen. For me, important thing is to give my all for the team.
"So the best thing for me is to stick to my gameplan and if I get opportunities, try to do my best for the team. Every time you can't think about hundreds, even if you get crucial 45-50, or 70 runs for your team, that is what matters. I always want to do that," the Mumbaikar added.
But Rahane backed the duo, saying, "Manish and Kedar are important to this side. It is important to give them confidence and back them. They had a good series in Sri Lanka and the team management is also backing them.”
On the flexibility of the batting order, Rahane said, “The good thing about this team is anyone can bat anywhere. It is important how you handle a situation and how you visualize it. Also, the minor adjustments are made in the mind.”
These are great times to be a wrist spinner now as the performances of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have proved that their kind is increasingly becoming a dominant force in limited-overs cricket. The biggest advantage for wrist spinners is their ability to take the pitch out of the equation as using their wrist, they can generate turn even from docile pitches. Yadav and Chahal bring that trait to the fore and have remained successful in getting wickets almost in every match. The Indian opened seemed to be excited by the duo's performance and lavished praise on them.
"It's a good sign that they (Australians) are not able to pick them. They both are quality spinners, did well in domestic circuit. They are actually improving day by day. In ODI cricket, if you are taking wickets in middle overs and not giving runs at the same time, it's good to have them. They are not taking things for granted and that's a good sign."