'I try to learn from every tie'

'I try to learn from every tie'

Focused on ODIs, Rahane wants to avoid specialist label

exciting prospect Ajinkya Rahane has grabbed his opportunity with both hands. ap

“Frankly speaking, I had not prepared at all before coming here,” said Rahane when quizzed about his care-free batting. “I understood the conditions only after I arrived here. One thing, I was not thinking too much. Obviously, there are certain expectations when you play for India and I was nervous to begin with.

“But all the seniors and team-mates helped me settle down in the mix. They supported me and gave me good guidance. It felt really good,” explained the Mumbai batsman, putting aside injury concerns about his ankle.

The 23-year-old struck 61 on his debut India debut in the T20 international in Manchester and followed it up with equally impressive efforts of 40 and 54 in the first two one-dayers, giving a glimpse of his huge potential. Rahane has been a prolific scorer in first-class cricket where he averages a shade under 68 but had to bide his time to get the India call-up. Now that I have got the chance, my focus is only to do my best and make the team win,” he replied when asked if he thought he deserved a break earlier. “I don’t want to discuss who got the chance or who should have. My focus at the moment is on the ODI series. I don’t want to be bracketed as a Test or a one-day batsman.

“I had to work hard to reach to this stage. Once I arrived, I had a word with Sachin (Tendulkar), (MS) Dhoni and Rahul (Dravid). Every senior advised me not to think about anything except to carry on playing the way I have been to get here. The more experience I get, the more I will learn; I try to learn something new every match.”

The right-hander credited former Mumbai coach Praveen Amre for grooming him. “Praveen Amre helped me a lot with my technique in the last four years in the Ranji Trophy as Mumbai coach. Sachin guided and encouraged me whenever I met him.

“Rahul offered his tips while playing for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL,” he pointed out, adding that Tendulkar and Dravid were his favourite players.