Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has stated that Ajinkya Rahane is quite aggressive and has a very good cricketing brain. He also advised his fellow Mumbaikar to be just himself when he takes over captaincy from Virat Kohli after he departs home post the Adelaide Test.
Ajinkya Rahane is the talk of the town with many presumptions and predictions being made about his upcoming captaincy stint that is supposed to dominate the headlines in the last three Tests. Notably, Rahane has captained India once in a high voltage India-Australia series in 2017 when the two teams were 1-1 after three Tests and he had led India to an incredible series win in absence of Virat Kohli.
This time around there are many challenges ahead for Rahane, but Sachin Tendulkar, who has played alongside him for Mumbai and India and knows him well enough, feels that he is very capable of leading the side Down Under and has a very good understanding of the game.
"Whatever I have seen of Ajinkya over the years, he is a very sincere, hard-working fellow who has a good cricketing brain. He is balanced, he is aggressive, he understands the game, he is methodical. Whatever I have seen I have liked, so my advice would be - 'be yourself'. He has to be himself more than anything else." Sachin told TimesofIndia.com.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli will fly back home after the first Test match for the birth of his first child. Tendulkar feels a team always needs to be ready for such setbacks as sometimes players get injured and at others are ruled out due to personal reasons. But, he feels, no matter what may come, a team has to put up a fight and play to win.
"He is one of the senior most players in the team, Rohit (Sharma), Ajinkya (Rahane), (Cheteshwar) Pujara, these are players who have been around for a long time, so it's a nice blend of seniors and juniors. So obviously when he (Kohli) has to come back for personal reasons, the team has to be prepared, because normally a player is expected to play a whole series but nothing is guaranteed.
"A player can also get injured, it's not just about coming back for personal reasons, a player can be ruled out of a tournament, it doesn't have to be always due to personal reasons, players can have injuries also and the team has to play without them, for example, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ruled out of the IPL, so those kinds of things happen, it's about the whole nation, it's about India, it's not about individuals. Individuals come together to build a wonderful team, so when he (Kohli) is not going to be there, but I am sure when the team does well in the remaining three Test matches, he will be as happy as any other Indian."
India have been sweating hard on the fitness of their regular Test opener Rohit Sharma's hamstring injury. But, recently, he departed for Australia and if he regains his full fitness, he will feature in the side for the Third Test match in Sydney. The only batsman to score 100 international centuries, Sachin feels Rohit's return will be a boost for India as he's one of the seniors in the side.
"That is going too far ahead (whether Rohit will play in the last two Tests), whether that will happen or not, but as I mentioned, Rohit is one of the most senior players and when senior players are there, it is always a nice balance, a nice blend of having that senior player along with juniors around, that combination is a nice combination to have. But whether Rohit is fit or not, or whether anything else needs to be done, that the team management decides on the tour.
"I am sure the physio will be involved in this, the captain, the coach, the tour management will be involved, so one should just leave it to them rather than assuming a lot of things. Right now, I don't know exactly what the status is, so I think they (Indian team management) are the best people to judge, in which direction they need to move forward." Sachin said.