'Not concerned about personal form, centuries not the only way to contribute' - Ajinkya Rahane ahead of Kanpur Test against New Zealand

‘Not concerned about personal form, centuries not the only way to contribute’ – Ajinkya Rahane ahead of Kanpur Test against New Zealand

Rahane also explained how he switches from a captain to a batter and vice-versa when performing the dual role for India.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Ajinkya Rahane has averaged below 25 in his last 15 Tests, but is not worried about form as he steps to lead India against New Zealand in Virat Kohli’s absence. Rahane admitted his focus to be on contributing to the team whichever way he can, while adding that scoring centuries is not the only way to perform.

“I have no concerns about my form,” Rahane said in a virtual press interaction on the eve of the Kanpur Test, starting November 25. “My job is to think about how can I contribute to the team and contribution doesn’t mean you need to make 100 in every game. 30-40 runs or 50-60 runs in a crucial moment is a very important contribution.”

“I always think about the team and never about myself that, ‘What lies ahead for me?’ or ‘What will happen in the future?’ I think I am very fortunate and grateful, it’s an honor for me to lead the country. So not too much bothered about what will happen. What’s there in the future will happen. My focus is to give my best in a particular moment and that’s what I am going to try.”

Rahane also explained how he switches from a captain to a batter and vice-versa when performing the dual role for India. He last led the team in Kohli’s absence during the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy in Australia, which India won 2-1.

“When I am batting, I am not there as a captain, I am there as a batsman so I am just focussing on the batting and staying in the moment. But once my batting is over and we are fielding then captaincy starts. It’s as simple as that,” he said. “You have to make it clear that whenever we are fielding all I am thinking about what sort of gameplan we have or what sort of strategy we have but whenever I am batting it’s all about that.”

When asked about the impact of KL Rahul’s forced exit, while the team has already rested multiple first-choice players, Rahane admitted they will be “missed” but termed that an “opportunity for the youngsters” at the same time.

“We’ll definitely miss all these guys. But having said that, it’s a good opportunity for all the youngsters – to back themselves [and] play with freedom. Rahul [Dravid] bhai is actually backing each and every individual. This team is all about backing everyone, playing for one another and as I said, a good opportunity for the youngsters to go out and play tomorrow.”