WTC final, Ind vs NZ: Ajinkya Rahane


India vice-captain not feeling the pressure over his batting stats in England or India’s Test record in Southampton

India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has said ahead of the WTC final that he’s not fazed by the criticism around his batting returns. Rahane is India’s highest scorer in this WTC cycle, with 1095 runs at 43.80, and has had the unwavering support of the team management.
As recently as February this year, captain Virat Kohli said that Rahane, alongside Cheteshwar Pujara, was India’s “most important batter” in response to questions about his form and place in the team. In his last 18 innings, Rahane has made one hundred and one fifty, but he said that he’s not living in the past ahead of the WTC final.

“It feels special [to be the leading run-scorer]. I’m happy to take criticism. I feel because of the criticism, I’m here,” Rahane said. “I always want to give my best, whether people criticise me or not. For me what is important is to give my best for my team, my country and contribute, each and every time. Be it as a batter or as a fielder. I don’t really think about criticism. If people criticise me, that’s their thing and that’s their job. I cannot control these things. I always focus on the controllables, putting my best foot forward and following my process. And the result follows.”

Rahane has been one of India’s leading overseas batters during his decade-long career, but England remains the country where he’s had least success; in ten Tests in England, Rahane averages 29.26 with four fifties and a hundred. However, three of those fifties have come during two Tests in Southampton, where the final will be held.

“I like to be in the present,” Rahane said. “I’ve been at this venue many times now, played for Hampshire also. Yes I know the conditions but what is important is to be in the moment, be in the present and adjust to the conditions on that particular day. Being the highest run-scorer doesn’t matter now. Whatever happened, that was past.”

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