Ajinkya Rahane has stated that in 2018, the wickets were really challenging for them to handle but the batting unit did that successfully, something he feels can be replicated again. Rahane has also heaped praise on Cameron Green and called the Western Australian all-rounder a complete cricketer.
India’s series win in 2018 notwithstanding, a lot will be at stake as two cricketing powerhouses of the modern-era - India and Australia - will take on each other for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, starting with a Pink ball Test in Adelaide from December 17. With Virat Kohli’s absence from the majority of it and the drama surrounding Rohit Sharma’s return taking centrestage, the build-up was quite leaner than usual but that is set to change.
As the number of concussion cases can attest, the series will be defined by who handles the short ball better. So it was natural that Rahane was asked about the same, but the Indian vice-captain was firm in his assessment that the visitors are not going to lose their sleep over the same.
“We play short balls really well. Last time when we came here, in 2018, the Adelaide wicket on the first day and the Perth wicket was really challenging. But we adjusted to those wickets really well. As a batting unit, we can adjust to any conditions really well and every one of us plays short balls really well,” Rahane said while addressing a virtual pre-match press conference in Adelaide.
“I think the mindset should be to play those deliveries and those situations really well. That matters a lot. Batting is all about partnerships. If you get one or two partnerships, then you know your team will do really well. So I am not too concerned about short balls to be honest.”
Australia will field a number of young players with Cameron Green, if he passes the concussion test, set to make his Test debut in Adelaide. Will Pucovski’s debut got delayed due to the ninth concussion he suffered in his sporting career but Rahane clearly added that Australia have got some talent. The Mumbaikar further asserted that Green is a special talent and a complete player.
“Playing in Australia against Australia is really challenging. Even with the youngsters around. We played against the likes of Pucovski and Green in the practise match, they looked really good and balanced. We need to respect them and play according to our own strengths.
“Green looked really good. That hundred that he got against us was really good. He bowled really well. A complete cricketer. It was good to see him bending his back and bowling the way he did.”
With India fielding an all-pace attack in the second pink-ball warm up game, the question raised if India were giving a chance to Ravichandran Ashwin at all. But Rahane clarified that the Tamil Nadu man has a lot to contribute to the series.
“Ashwin’s role will be very important. He is an experienced bowler and got varieties. His role as a bowler and also as a batsman, will be really important. I am sure Ashwin will have a very good series.”