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ODI Exclusion Gives Me More Time to Prepare for England Tests: Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane is an eternal optimist, who is ready to find a silver lining in everything, including his rejection from India's limited overs team.

PTI |May 28, 2018, 7:52 PM IST
ODI Exclusion Gives Me More Time to Prepare for England Tests: Rahane

Mumbai: Ajinkya Rahane is an eternal optimist, who is ready to find a silver lining in everything, including his rejection from India's limited overs team.

He believes that being overlooked for the limited overs leg of the UK tour will give him more time to do his homework for the big-ticket five-match Test series against England, starting August 1.

"It is important that you get time to prepare yourself and clarity is important, when you know that you are not in ODI squad and you just going to play Test matches in England. I will get good amount of time for the Afghanistan Test and after that for the England tour," Rahane told reporters on the sidelines of the CEAT Cricket Awards.

Even if there is an element of frustration, Rahane doesn't want to show that.

"No, I am not at all frustrated; actually the thing is I can tell you this is actually motivating me, because I am actually looking to make a comeback. Right now, my focus is on Test cricket. I still believe that I can come back and do well in shorter formats with World Cup (2019) coming up."

While there are enough indications that he has fallen off the radar as far as India's limited overs scheme of things are concerned, Rahane is still hopeful that he can turn the table.

"I still believe in myself. I did well in ODI cricket whenever I got my opportunities. In West Indies, I got man-of-the-series award (with four half-centuries). Against Australia, I did really well. In South Africa, the team management asked me to bat at No 4 and I did well, so it is just a matter of time. I am still confident that I will make a comeback and do well for my country in shorter format," the right-hander put up a brave front.

Pakistan may have walloped England inside three and half days in their first Test at the Lord's but that doesn't mean India will have it easy when they embark on their gruelling five-Test tour of the Old Blighty, feels Rahane.

Asked about England's comprehensive defeat at the hands of Pakistan and its implications, a cautious Rahane said: "It is very hard to judge (England) right now. Playing in England at their own backyard is always a challenge. Yes, Pakistan played very well. They bowled and batted well but there is still sometime to go for our series. We can't ake England for granted as they can comeback anytime."

Before the England Test series, Rahane will be leading India against Test debutants Afghanistan in the historic one-off Test in Bengaluru, starting June 14.

"Right now, our focus should be on Afghanistan Test match and then think about England. We can by no means take Afghanistan lightly. The world accepts and respects Rashid Khan as a quality bowler. Whether in life or cricket, nothing can be taken for granted," the stylish Mumbaikar said.

"Qualifying for a Test is the biggest thing for Afghanistan cricket and that is good for cricket. We need to go out there and play with the good intensity like we play with every other team," Rahane said.

As the discussion again turned to the marquee England series, Rahane reiterated that the start is important.

"England's strength is their quality of all-rounders (Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Moeen Ali). We have to take one game at a time. We have the team to do well abroad, especially in England and Australia.

"I always believe that the first match of the series is always important. If you get that momentum early in the series, then you can actually dominate your opponent," the 30-year-old Indian vice-captain signed off.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4659 119
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 England 4366 104
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more