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IPL Staff in Delhi 05 April 2013 - 06:29pm IST

‘Legends always leave a legacy; one does still’

Royals’ Rahane, Faulkner looks forward to IPL 2013

Young and aspiring youngsters in their respective national sides, Ajinkya Rahane and James Faulkner are taking their first steps in the international circuit for India and Australia.

Rahane made people stand-up and take notice with his performance in the Indian Premier League in 2012 and Faulkner has made his presence felt in the shortest format of the game while playing in the Big Bash.

Both have also displayed their skills while playing on the domestic circuit of their home countries.

What they also have in common is, that both have had the opportunity to play under the leadership of Shane Warne. Rahane has already played under Rahul Dravid and Faulkner will have that honour when he turns out for the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2013.
 
Rahane has always spoken reverently of the influence and guidance provided by Dravid and Faulkner too speaks highly of the support extended to him by Warne.

Discussing the contrasting captaincy styles of ‘The Wall’ and the spin wizard, Rahane observed, “They (Warne and Dravid) are both legends but are entirely different captains. Rahul bhai likes to keep things simple while leading the side while Warne was always trying various new things and was always experimenting.

“Both Rahul bhai and Shane have been equally approachable.”

“I am enjoying playing with Rahul Dravid. Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar are my role models since my childhood, so it is a dream to bat alongside Rahul bhai. It is a great learning experience. We all learn from him.

“He is simple and humble and still a student of the game. I learnt a lot from Shane Warne as well.”

Speaking about Warne, Faulkner Warne added, “He has been a massive support for my cricket over the last two years I have really got to know him. I have really got to know him off the field as well and he has left a legacy to be followed.

“With RR being his IPL team I glad I am here I am playing where he is used to play.”

“I haven’t actually spoken to him about RR but the advice that he has given to me is to always back myself and back my game and I have done that through the Big Bash under him. So I am looking forward to doing that here in India too.”

“I have had a couple of sessions now with Rahul (Dravid). He has been very positive for the team. And everyone has been positive so far as a group at training. Now it is a matter of putting games of cricket together as a team and winning games of cricket,” Faulkner mentioned.

Speaking about the Royals’, Rahane who was one of the star performers for the franchise in 2012 said, “I have lot of good memories of last season but as we know cricket is a funny game so I want to start this season from scratch.”

Faulkner too is looking forward to take the field for RR and agrees that they have got a very good squad.

“Few games last year were disappointing. We lost close games, especially against Delhi we lost by one run. We are learning from that (those mistakes). We also have Shane Watson for the whole season. We have a good side so we hope to do well,” Rahane added.

Speaking about the devastating effect that Shane Watson is known to have on the opposition, Faulkner said, “When Watson is both batting and bowling he is probably the best player in the world when it comes to the short format, at least that’s what the statistics show. He can break the game open with both the bat and ball. As a batter in T20 cricket he is one of the best going around. He has dominated and won matches for his country. And he has done that here in the IPL before”.

Faulkner who has come to India after playing in another twenty20 tournament, the Big Bash said, “The conditions are a lot different. Australia is where I am from so I am used to those conditions there. India is different when it comes to the weather, the pitches and how they play. But I think I have got the game to adapt to any sort of conditions around the world.”

“The quality of cricket in both – the IPL and the Big Bash is international (level). IPL has very high standards and I am really looking forward to IPL kicking off.”

“I have just finished my summer back in Australia so I am in reasonably good conditions at the moment. I came four-five days ago to adapt to the wickets over here. I have done really good in nets so far and I will have another one today and I look forward to it all starting,” the pacer added.

Discussing his own batting and adapting to different formats of the game, Rahane said, “As an international cricketer you have to adapt to different things. My main strength is that I like to learn new things every day. I just want to focus and stick to my game plan.”

On his style of playing in the ‘V’ which can fetch runs as much as any other innovative shot like a ‘dilscoop’ Rahane explained, "Every batsman has his own style. My style is to keep things simple. My idols are Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Both play cricketing shots and are successful in T20 format as well. So I would like to keep it very simple and stick to my game plan. You need to adapt to all these situations. It is about the mind set. Adjustments are important and how you approach the game is important."

“Once you get a taste of international cricket, it is like a bug so you want to keep playing and performing as well as you can for your country. And it’s the same when it comes to the IPL. Anywhere that I play, I think I want to achieve my goals and play as well as I can for that team. It’s is no different for Rajasthan Royals and I am looking forward to it,” Faulkner said.

On the batsman he looks forward to bowl to, the tall Australian pacer said, “Definitely Chris Gayle. I have got a little bit of rivalry with him now if I get the option to bowl at him again I sure he will try to hit me out of the ground and I will try to get him out so I am sure it will be good for all the spectators.”

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