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Patience will be the key as a batting unit: Ajinkya Rahane

Virat Kohli-Ajinkya Rahane
Indian Test cricket team captain Virat Kohli (L) is helped by vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo by MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Indian middle-order batsman and the vice-captain of the side Ajinkya Rahane feel that the batsmen need to be patient enough to succeed on the slow pitches in West Indies.

“I think as a batting unit we have been doing really well. It is all about focusing on this series now. As long as we are learning from the South Africa series, it is all about this series now,” he said at the press conference.

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Rahane feels that one needs to cut down some of the shots especially early in the innings. “You cut out certain shots because technically I don’t think we will have to change anything really. But we will have to cut out some shots initially, in the first or second session, and after that, when you get used to the conditions, you will play your shots. But initially, it is important to give time to yourself. If you are used to getting 100 in 150 balls, maybe here you will have to get 100 in 250 balls, so as a batsman it is important to play at least 200-plus balls here.”

He also urged that the batsmen need to stay for long so that they could give a breath-up for the bowlers. “Patience will be the key as a batting unit, but once you get set, it is important to make each and every session count because we will have to give time for our bowlers. It is not easy to take 20 wickets on this kind of pitches, especially on the slower tracks. As a batting unit, we will have to take the responsibility and I think one or two batsmen will have to get set and score big here,” Rahane said.

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Preparing for slow tracks in the series:

Rahane, who was promoted as the vice-captain ahead of the series said that he is expecting slower tracks for the series, which are quite similar to the ones back home. “I think we will get similar tracks but here we will have to wait until the 21st. But in St. Kitts it was really slow track, a bit similar to Indian wickets and we are preparing for slow tracks in the series. So the two practice matches were really crucial for us and this first game will give us momentum.”

According to him, patience is the key for the batsmen and the bowlers. “Patience will be the key here and it is not going to be easy to score runs for the batsmen. But if you focus and concentrate well, once you get settled it will be very easy to bat on. Even the bowlers have to bowl very disciplined line and lengths here and be patient here,” he pointed out.

Hunting in Pairs:

He also said that the bowlers need to hunt in pairs and that will be really crucial in the West Indies. “I felt after the new ball, [Amit] Mishra bowled really well and (in the) second game [Ravichandran] Ashwin and [Ravindra] Jadeja bowled really well in partnerships. I think bowling well in partnerships will be really crucial in the West Indies.”

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The 28-year old said that the team is happy to have Kumble as the coach as his inputs are helping the team. “He has been fantastic throughout these three weeks, and 6-7 days in camp.”

Rahane also added that it is important to give respect to West Indies and he feels that the Windies have a good bowling unit in the likes of Jason Holder, Shannon Gabriel, Carlos Brathwaite and Devendra Bishoo. “It is important to give respect to them and play according to the merit as a team. You cannot take anyone lightly and as long as we play to our strengths and potential, it will help us in this Test series,” he concluded.

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