We will be ruthless: Rahane

We will be ruthless: Rahane

Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane said that his players will focus on their strengths. PTI

Afghanistan maybe making their Test debut, but India aren’t taking things for granted. While the gulf in the quality between the two teams is obvious, stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane asserted that the hosts will be ruthless in their approach in what is being dubbed the historic match, beginning here on Thursday. Excerpts.

On preparation for the match: It’s like any other Test match for our bowlers. As a Test team we cannot take anyone for granted. Because cricket is a funny game. We just want to go out there and play our best. The way we’ve been playing throughout the season, especially in this format. Yes, we are going to focus on our strengths and our positives, without thinking about Afghanistan. Yes, we respect them as an opponent, but it’s important for all of us to go out there and give more than 100%. We will be ruthless. 

On the occasion: It’s an honour for all of us to be part of this Test match. A big moment for Afghanistan cricket as well. Playing a Test match is always special. We all know that and personally, I’m really excited to lead my team. It’s an honour for me as well to be captain in this match.

On the playing XI: Not sure yet. I’m going to discuss this with (head coach) Ravi (Shastri) Bhai. The team which we had is really good. A couple of practice sessions in Bangalore were fantastic. After coming back from the IPL, it’s important that we train our mind rather than skills, because getting back to Test cricket after T20 is all about tuning your mind rather than focusing on your skills. We wouldn’t like to take Afghanistan lightly. We know they’re a decent team but we’re not sure of our combination yet.

On Afghanistan skipper Stanikzai’s remark that they have better spinners: Every team believes their team is good, that their bowling attack and their batting is better. We all know the stats, but we don’t focus on stats, it’s important that in Test cricket throughout the five days every session matters a lot. It is important that you do your best all the time. And our spinners -- Kuldeep (Yadav), (R) Ashwin or (Ravindra) Jadeja -- they are all experienced. They are quality spinners, they back each other, they enjoy bowling with each other even in the nets and in the match. Yes, as I mentioned every member of a team feels their team is much better, but on that given day it’s important what is your mindset and how to handle pressure.