The hero who led from the front at MCG, India’s Vice Captain Ajinkya Rahane has advised his team to play WTC Final like they always had-taking one session and one day at a time. Rahane was the driving force behind India’s series-levelling win at MCG as he slammed 112 and also played the winning shot. Back in England, he has a game plan to negotiate the Kiwi seam attack.“We just want to take this as just another game, play it as just another game. What is important for us is to start well, we know New Zealand are a very good team,” said Rahane.
“We don’t want to take them lightly and as a team, we have been doing so well and we just want to continue what we’ve been doing over the last two years, play one day, one session at a time. Our planning, our strategies will be completely different from when we last played against England here in Southampton [in 2018], the plan was different that time," an ICC release quoted him as saying.
“We just want to take this as just another game. We don’t want to put ourselves under pressure especially playing a Test match after a long time now. I think what is important in this Test match is playing with freedom, playing fearless cricket as a team and backing each other. That will really help us rather than thinking about the result," he added.
He also recalled India’s 2018 England tour where they were beaten 1-4. He said the results will be different this time.
“I have played at this venue many times now, I’ve played for Hampshire also here, so I do know the conditions well, but what is important is to be in the moment, be in the present,” he added. I just adjust to the conditions on that particular day so being the highest run-scorer doesn’t matter for me now, like I said whatever happened was in the past.”
The last time the two sides met in the five-day format, hosts New Zealand defeated India in back-to-back Tests as part of the current WTC cycle at the beginning of 2020.