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Prajakta Pawar in Mumbai 06 July 2012 - 11:24am IST

Dravid said to keep it simple: Rahane

Rising star on his RR skipper, India mates and SL tour

Ajinkya Rahane has earned high praise from all quarters owing to a glorious season with the bat. Perhaps the most precious of all his compliments came from the great Rahul Dravid, the youngster’s Rajasthan Royals captain. “I believe he’s got a lot of potential for all forms of the game. I believe that he has it in him to be a better batsman than I was. He shouldn’t just aspire to be as good as some of the greater players from the past but strive to become better than them – which he can,” said Dravid of the heir apparent after IPL 2012. 

The youngster, who has impressed followers and experts of the game with his silken touch, spoke to
bcci.tv about the qualities of his colleagues Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina that he would like to imbibe. Looking forward to his maiden tour of Sri Lanka, Rahane spoke about batting in the shorter formats of the game and the influence of Rahul Dravid.

Excerpts: 

You have had a good last season and a fantastic run during the IPL. Did you pick up any valuable tips from your IPL captain Rahul Dravid?
He told me to keep my game simple and not change it too much. Playing T20 doesn’t mean you have to change your game too much; you have to adjust according to the situation. The simpler you keep your game, the better your batting will be. 

How does your batting change across formats? 

T20s, one-dayers and Tests – how you adjust to the different formats is very important. That is what [Dravid] told me – the way you adjust, and your mindset while playing, is important. When you play a higher level of cricket, you have to be mentally strong. Adjusting quickly to the different formats is very important, so I try to work on that. 

How do make the mental adjustment between formats and tournaments?

During the IPL, I would try to remain cool and calm while batting. If I can remain calm under pressure, then I can think properly and think better. For that I used to do deep breathing between overs or even between deliveries. Also, I do yoga so that definitely helps the mental aspect. 

Are you the kind of batsman who likes to have a chat in between overs or do you tend to keep to yourself?

While batting with Rahul bhai [during the IPL] I would talk, have a chat with him, and sometimes he would crack a joke. We shared a good chemistry; we were in sync with each other. I am okay with talking [during a game]; sometimes I keep to myself. It depends on the situation and the way the game is going. 

You play your next series in the sub-continent. Are you happy to be playing in familiar conditions?

The conditions will be a little similar [to the ones at home], but at the same time one will have to make a few adjustments after taking a look at the wickets. I will try and talk to the senior players who have played there and learn about the local wickets and how to play on them. [...] 

What are the areas that you have worked on after the West Indies tour?

It was a good experience. The wickets were a bit slow and somewhat helpful for the spinners. Scoring runs wasn’t that easy so patience was very important while batting. In Sri Lanka, too [it will be the same]. I don’t know how the wickets in SL will be, but I will definitely try to convert the starts that I get into big innings. 

What are the qualities that you would like to imbibe from your colleagues Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli?

Rohit’s aggression, Raina’s intensity and Virat’s consistency.

How do you see the season ahead? 

It’s definitely a long season ahead but I always stay in the present; I don’t think too far ahead. I will take it step-by-step.

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