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Ajinkya Rahane says Sachin’s call prior to Dharamshala test inspired him

Sachin asked me to follow my instinct: Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane
India’s Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo credit FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Indian middle order batsman Ajinkya Rahane shared that a call from Sachin Tendulkar right before the final test against the Australians was a major source of inspiration to him. Rahane captained the Indian team to victory in the absence of injured Virat Kohli in an absorbing game of test cricket.

Ajinkya Rahane became India’s 33rd test captain in the fourth and deciding test in Dharamshala. The series, which saw a whole host of controversies on and off the field, was squared at 1-1. Following a shocking defeat in the first test in Pune, the Indians bounced back strongly, clinching emphatic victories in both Bengaluru and Dharamshala, and eventually winning the series 2-1.

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Skipper Virat Kohli had injured himself on the very first day of the third test in Ranchi and was forced to walk off the field. Rahane hence had a short stint as India’s test captain as Kohli recuperated in the dressing room. In Dharamshala however, Kohli warmed the bench as Ajinkya Rahane came out to the centre to toss the coin for a final time in the series.

“It was a proud moment for me, but the mood was sombre in the dressing room because of Virat’s injury. He inspired all of us with his confidence and support despite the injury. As a captain, I knew I am a different person and everybody has his own style as captain. On the ground, I knew I had seniors with me, but at the end, I had to take calls. Throughout the match, I wanted to follow my style. Before the match, I got a call from Sachin. He also asked me to follow my instinct. It inspired me,” Rahane shared with Cricbuzz.

Rahane’s captaincy was quite a drastic contrast to Kohli’s. There was no sign of aggression or grimaces. There was no effort to orchestrate the crowd to back the players. Rahane exhibited a calm demeanour on the field. He rotated his bowlers and set aggressive field placements for the Aussie batsmen. There was a pronounced sense of composure about the little man.

“There are different ways to show your aggression. For me, it has always shown through my actions. As a child, I practised karate. Showing aggression through my behaviour could have never worked for me as I was the smallest in my zone. The only way for me to show it was through my actions. I have carried that to cricket too,” the Mumbai batsman shared. Interestingly, Rahane has earned a junior karate black belt.

Ajinkya Rahane will now switch to the shortest format of the game in the upcoming IPL. He will join his side the Rising Pune Supergiant as they look to turn things around this year after a disappointing 2016 season. Rising Pune Supergiant will start their campaign against Mumbai Indians on Thursday (April 6). The team will be led by Steve Smith.

“Smith is the captain, so it is important to give him his space. We are lucky to have Dhoni bhai in our side and he is an inspiration for not just the Indians, but also for overseas players. I am sure even Smith will take his advice from him.”

Rahane added that Dhoni’s presence in the team is enough to inspire the whole team, “Dhoni may not be the captain, but him as a player is an inspiration. A person like him teaches a lot even with his presence. He doesn’t speak much, but whenever he does, he leaves you inspired,” he signed off.

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