Ajinkya Rahane, ahead of the final Test of the series, has taken down criticism of the pitch, insisting that the wickets from the last two Tests weren’t one bit dangerous. He further stated that he is a team man and insisting that he has scored runs every time the country needed him to score.
After talks of a fatigue Indian team popped after the first Test, the focus has been shifted to the conditions and the pitch on offer, which has aided the spinners. While India won convincingly in the second Test, they outnumbered England in the third Test, leading to several criticisms of the spinning track in Ahmedabad. In the past few days, several Indian cricketers have voiced their support for the conditions.
Ahead of the crucial fourth Test at the same venue, in Ahmedabad, the Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane stated that he doesn’t think the wickets from the last two Tests were one bit dangerous. He pointed out that the Indian team never talks or raises a complaint about the conditions when they travel overseas.
“When we go out (overseas), no one from our teams speaks about the conditions or the pitch, whether it is swinging or seaming. No, I don’t think the wickets from the last two Tests were any bit dangerous. We as a team are not really bothered about the outside noise,” Rahane told pressers during the online press conference.
The right-hander, who has been constantly criticised for his form, also took down the journalist, stating that he has performed every time the Indian team needs him to. In the last two tours, Rahane’s vital contribution has come in Melbourne and Chennai, where he hit put on a partnership with Jadeja and Rohit Sharma, in India’s win.
"I knew someone would ask me a question on my current form. Check your stats, you know my contribution. Whenever the team has needed runs, I have performed. I am team man, everyone knows that," he added.
While India played three spinners in Ahmedabad, the under-utilisation of Washington Sundar was a question that popped several times. However, the Indian vice-captain insisted that he didn’t get too many chances to bowl because of the partnership between Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel.
"Just because (Ravichandran) Ashwin and Axar (Patel) were bowling well, Washington (Sundar) didn't get his chance," he added.
It was only the second pink-ball Test in the country, which ironically ended in just two days. Rahane reckoned that it was crucial for the batsman to play the line while facing spin, something that they didn’t do often in the Test. However, Rahane also stated that England are no leftovers while adding that the team’s primary goal is to get into the World Test Championship final, where they will face New Zealand in Lord’s.
"The wicket would be similar to the third Test and also the second Test what we played in Chennai. The wicket would be similar, yes the pink ball made the difference, it was coming much quicker off the wicket as compared to the red ball. That was an adjustment we had to make but as I said the wicket would be a lot similar to the last two Test matches," Rahane added about the wicket.
“This Test is really important, we are focussing on the match and get that World Test Championship final spot. But for that we need to follow the process, we are not taking England lightly at all and want to win the match,” he concluded.