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Rajasthan Royals opener believes in keeping it simple while batting
By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Pune 09 May 2012
It’s all about opportunity. Sportsmen thrive on that solitary chance to showcase their talent to the world. The Indian Premier League is the ideal opportunity for players from around the world to announce themselves. IPL 2012 is Ajinkya Rahane’s graduation of sorts; he has managed to not only impress but also convince one and all of his shining talent. With 463 runs in the tournament so far, Rahane has played well enough to often outshine the more illustrious names in the game. His form might have dipped in recent matches, but his confidence is certainly sky high.
The 23-year-old spoke to iplt20.com after Rajasthan Royals’ seven-wicket win over the Pune Warriors India.
Excerpts: One more win for you; do you think the playoffs are within your reach?
It’s always good to win a game. Last match was very crucial for us as we had lost a lot of games on the trot and the momentum we got was very good. Today also it was a team effort, and I am feeling good about it. Have you changed your batting style to suit Twenty20 cricket?
I believe that, if you are technically sound and if you want to play good cricket, sooner you adjust to the format, better it will be for you. I just wanted to keep my batting simple, and improvisation is very important in this format. You just need to know when to take your chances. Do you see yourself as Rahul Dravid’s heir apparent in the Indian side?
It’s very difficult to replace a player of his stature. I want to create my own identity, so I don’t want to be compared with him. It’s a very good opportunity for me to learn from him and I would want to learn more in the upcoming matches. He does share a lot. He talks a lot to you in the middle also and jokes at the same time. It’s a very big thing if your role model is sharing so much with you. Are you missing the Orange Cap?
Today while playing, I was not thinking about it. I just know that if I keep playing well, Orange Cap is going to be with me. I just want to contribute to the team in every match.
Do you think you didn’t get enough opportunities while playing for the Mumbai Indians?
I don’t have any complaints, as it was the team management’s decision. Now I am playing for RR and we have a very good team and the atmosphere is also good. I am very happy here.
Does playing in the domestic circuit help while playing in the IPL?
I have been playing domestic cricket for the last five years and the experience is helping me a lot here. Praveen Amre has also given me a lot of tips, which are helping me here. Do you feel the pressure of expectation?
If you perform well, there will be a lot expected out of you. I always take expectations in a way that I feel all of them are supporting me. I always try to improve day-by-day and match-by-match.
PWI all-rounder says his team has been unable to win close games
By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Pune 09 May 2012
The rigours of the IPL have finally taken its toll on the once high-flying Pune Warriors India. Their seven-wicket loss to the Rajasthan Royals marked their sixth consecutive loss in the tournament, leaving them three points shy of the bottom spot. The Warriors have battled hard, only to stumble at the final hurdle. South African all-rounder Wayne Parnell is part of the PWI setup that tried to make their mark this season. His and the team’s efforts might not have come to fruition yet, but the 22-year-old believes that all the team needs to change their fortunes is to maintain their will to win. The energetic Protea revealed to iplt20.com that PWI couldn’t quite make it count when it really mattered this season.
Sixth loss on the trot for the team; what’s the team going through?
We haven’t really done well. We have played good cricket, but this game is all about results. And at the end of the day, we couldn’t really pull it through. We had some tight games, but unfortunately, we couldn’t pull it through. We have got a couple of games left now, and hopefully, we can finish strong. Would you say that the season has fizzled out for you after that initial start?
We were pretty confident at the initial part of the tournament. We lost a couple of games upfront, but they were close-fought games. And from there, we couldn’t string performances together. Does the wicket at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium suit PWI?
That’s the thing about professional sport; you have to do well wherever – be it here or be it on a belter. You can’t expect to play on wickets where you can score 200 every game. So it’s on the batters to adapt and the bowlers need to do the same.
Do you still feel that you can make it to the playoffs?
It depends on the table. If we lose, it’s not going to be good for the team’s spirit. We have got a couple of games left now. So as a team, we have to finish off well and look forward to the next season.
What according to you is lacking in the team?
Throughout the games we batted poorly and bowled poorly. We just have to stick together as a team and we can’t expect to win all the games as the other team is also looking to win the game. The will to win is probably the key thing for us. And once you start losing one or two games, you shouldn’t doubt yourself, which is the worst thing you can do. Which team do you feel is the toughest you have played so far?
It’s sort of tricky this season compared to other seasons. But DD [Delhi Daredevils] and KKR [Kolkata Knight Riders] have been doing pretty well.
What is it like to play under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy?
It’s nice for me to play under him as I have watched him play lots of internationals for India. It’s a different experience and he is different from any other captains I have played under. It’s a great experience for a youngster like me to play under such greats like Sourav and [Michael] Clarke.
What stands out about Ganguly’s captaincy?
I like his confidence. He backs the guys to do what they feel is right. Sourav being a senior player shows confidence in youngsters; and now with Michael Clarke, it’s more evident for young players to do well.