Rahane Sets Eyes On 2019 World Cup, Bats For Promotion Of Days’ Cricket

Sweta Mishra

Bhubaneswar: India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, during a press conference at Ekamra Sports Literary Festival in Odisha capital, said that he was confident of making a comeback in the ODI squad and play the 2019 World Cup in England.

During a discussion on the topic ‘Guardians of Faith – Saving Test Cricket’ on Saturday, the cricketer, who has been experiencing a dip in form over the last two years, said, “It is a phase that every players experiences and how you tackle and get out of it is all that matters.”

Taking about his performance, Rahane said that he would like to do better against spin bowling and convert starts into good scores. He, however, said that there was no problem in his technique and patience was key to convert the 30s and 40s into half centuries and then centuries.

The cricketer has scored just three hundreds and eight fifties from 48 innings since 2016. He has not played in one-dayer since February. On the other hand, the 30-year-old has played 52 Tests scoring 3271 runs.

Rahane, who is seen as a player more suited to Tests than the shorter formats, was not picked for the first two Tests in South Africa earlier this year. “It was the decision of the team management and I had to respect it. All I could do was wait for my chance and perform well.”

On the upcoming tour of Australia, Rahane said any team playing at home was difficult to beat. “The Kangaroos are extremely refined and their bowling is, especially, difficult to beat. We have been working on it accordingly. It should be a very good Test series,” said the Mumbai lad.

On saving Test cricket, he said that there was a need to promote and support the days’ cricket from the junior level. “If days’ cricket survives, Test cricket will automatically get back its past glory. Fans should also support domestic cricket more as it is at these tournaments that Test cricketers are spotted,” he said.

The cricketer expressed his gratitude to Odisha government for organising a sports literary fest and said such events can help take forward the sports culture.

Rahane pointed out that the Odisha cricket team lacked bench strength. “Odisha has a decent team. But there is a need to give the players at least 7-8 matches, to prove themselves. In every team you will find players who struggle initially but once they find the touch, they score consistently,” he said.

With Men’s Hockey World Cup scheduled for later this month, he wished the best to the Team India. “I would urge everyone to support them and watch the matches. All the very best to the team and I would definitely want to see India in the finals,” he further said.

Sweta Mishra

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