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Wily Ajinkya Rahane wants to stay three steps ahead of the opposition

India Today logo India Today 03-09-2016
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Ajinkya Rahane has been the mainstay of Indian batting line-up in Test cricket for quite a while now and once again he will play a key role during the upcoming packed home season that includes 13 Tests. However, Rahane says he is not looking too far ahead and is only focused on New Zealand series.

"I know I have a job at hand but I never set targets beforehand. I believe setting targets takes you too much into future. Looking too far ahead can clutter your mind. Instead I like taking each day as it comes. Right now, the focus will be on New Zealand series," Rahane told PTI during an interaction.

Rahane has always emphasised on doing homework against particular oppositions and it would not be any different this time also when New Zealand visit India for a three-Test and five-ODI series, starting September 22.

"I always discuss my batting with my childhood coach Praveen Amre. It won't be any different this time also. Obviously the preparation for each series is slightly different. But obviously you never reveal your strategy before the series starts. The key is to always remain three steps ahead of the opposition," the 27-year-old Mumbaikar said.

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'KIWIS HAVE DECENT ATTACK'

He termed the New Zealand attack as a good one against whom they cannot afford to be complacent despite the favourable home conditions. "It's a decent attack. They have Trent Boult, also good spinners like Mitch Santner and Ish Sodhi. We can't let our guard down."

Talking about using bats with different weights, Rahane said, "Whether it's Melbourne or Mumbai, I have never tinkered with weight of my bats. It's always been same irrespective of bounce in various pitches across the globe."

He scored 243 runs including a century and a half-century in the recently-concluded four-Test series against the West Indies which India won 2-0. "I always strive to improve and I am satisfied with my performance in the Caribbean. I had prepared specially to face the Dukes red ball.

"It is different to play red Dukes than kookaburra as the ball seams and swings more than other balls. For that you need to play close to the body and as late as possible. That was my endeavour and I was happy with my execution. It would have been great had we won 3-0 but you can't control weather," said Rahane.

'KUMBLE'S PASSION UNMATCHED'

He agreed that chief coach Anil Kumble's passion is unmatched that rubs onto his teammates. "He has been phenomenal with his inputs. He has left international cricket for nearly 8 years but nothing seems to have changed. His passion is unmatched. He has an eye for every minute detail. He told me that I am doing well and key to consistency is focussing on routines," he said.

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