India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane described England as a challenging country to bat in, and claimed that a batsman can never feel set and secure in English conditions even if they’re batting on 80. Rahane also claimed that team India will be considering the WTC Final as ‘just another game’.
The second Test between England and New Zealand at Edgbaston saw the English batsmen inexplicably surrender to the Kiwis, but something bizarre occurred in the game. A total of five batsmen managed to pass the fifty-run mark across four innings in the Test, and astonishingly not one went on to convert the same into a century. Incredibly, four of the five batters perished in the 80s - the exception being Lawrence, who ran out of partners - with three of the five players getting dismissed in conventional manner.
It was a coincidence that made little sense, but in what could potentially be inferred as an explanation for the barrage of 80s in Edgbaston, Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane claimed that the nature of English wickets is such that no batsman can feel set ever, even if they are nearing a ton.
"One more thing I feel is that as a batsman you are never set even when you are batting on 70 or 80; one ball and there is a chance of you getting out," Rahane said in a video posted by bcci.tv.
Rahane, however, stressed that England is a country which ‘batsmen who enjoy batting in challenging conditions’ will relish. The 33-year-old famously has a century in England, at Lord’s, and he insisted that it is imperative for batsmen to play straight and close to the body.
"Batsmen who enjoy batting in challenging conditions will relish in England. If you get set, England is a very good place for batting. As a batsman, I have realised that in England; the more you play straight and close, the better it is for you,” Rahane said.
In under a week’s time team India will be taking on New Zealand in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship, and Rahane asserted that India reaching the summit is the culmination of two years of hard work. India finished top of the WTC table, collecting 100 more points than any other side.
"(For) Two years we have played consistent cricket as a team and reaching the WTC final is a result of this. It was not easy because in Test cricket you have to give your best in every match," Rahane said.
"Overall the cricket we had played since the start of the WTC, from West Indies, the team has performed as a unit till now."
In Southampton, India will have a chance to break the eight-year ICC Trophy drought, but Rahane stressed that the team will consider the final as ‘just another game’.
“Yes, it is an important match but as a team we will take it as just another game. We have got quality time here to prepare ourselves. Personally, I am very excited to play the WTC final. We will just try to give our best in this match and accept whatever the result is.”