Focus on the present, Rahane to youngsters

Focus on the present, Rahane to youngsters

Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. (DH File Photo)

India named four uncapped players for the two-Test series against the West Indies starting here from Thursday. And for the trio of Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal and Mohammed Siraj, the biggest Test will be to replicate their domestic and India ‘A’ form on the biggest stage.

The familiar home conditions should boost the confidence of these youngsters. Ajinkya Rahane, India’s vice-captain, was happy that the constant good work of these players has received its due. “They have been performing so well and it’s (selection) a reward for their consistency. It’s a wonderful opportunity for them. I would like to see them score big runs or take a lot of wickets,” said Rahane here at a press conference on Tuesday.

The Indian team management’s reputation for constant chopping and changing should serve as a sort of warning to these players. One chance squandered could prove costly. Rahane, however, said the new comers have received a strong backing.

“There is no pressure on these guys. They must go out there and express themselves, enjoy their game. The management has offered great support. I think they shouldn’t worry too much about the future. They must just focus on the present,” he offered.

Prithvi Shaw, who is likely to make debut in the first Test, has made heads turn with his precocious talent. Rahane, Shaw’s captain in the Mumbai team, felt the youngster should continue to do things that are working for him. 

“He is an attacking opening batsman. I am very happy for him. We have played together for Mumbai and I have seen him during his age-group days. He should just continue the way he is playing,” he said.

Personally, Rahane is carrying the confidence of a good show in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he struck a fifty and a century. The right-hander, who had forgettable numbers in England, will be eyeing to strike form.

“With Vijay Hazare, I got good match practice. Any day, match practice is better than the time spent in ‘nets’. The pressure and the demands of a game are different compared to practice sessions. I wanted to start the season well and I am glad I did. But that’s in the past now, and I am focused on this Test series. I got two days of practice. We will have to assess the wicket well. It’s important how well we start this series and I am looking forward to it,” he said.