Play close to the body, work on mindset, set small goals: Ajinkya Rahane to Indian team

Play close to the body, work on mindset, set small goals: Ajinkya Rahane to Indian team

© Ajinkya Rahane/Instagram

Ajinkya Rahane has offered tips for batting and playing Test cricket for the Indian women’s team, ahead of their first Test in seven years – against England in Bristol starting Wednesday (June 16). It was after Ramesh Powar, India’s Head Coach, requested the India men’s Test vice-captain to have a session with the team before they left for England.

“Ramesh and Ajinkya have been teammates,” a board official was quoted as saying by PTI.

“Since our girls are playing Test match after seven years, the coach thought that it would be a good idea to have a session where one of the best in the business will talk about Test match batting. It was a 50-minute zoom session that was arranged when both teams were in quarantine in Mumbai.”

Harmanpreet Kaur, India’s vice-captain in Tests and ODIs, also revealed that the players had a friendly chat with Rahane.

“We got a chance to speak to Rahane this time and he has a lot of experience (of playing Tests),” said Kaur, addressing the media on Monday (June 14).

“He shared his experiences with us and told us how the approach should be because this is a long format. He talked about dividing the innings in parts. We discussed lot of things. Even in the nets, we try to be in good frame of mind.”

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Rahane has played 73 Tests in which he has scored 4583 runs. He is believed to have told the team to play close to the body, work on the mindset and set small targets instead of thinking at the eventual results. It was reported that Mithali Raj, Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Shikha Pandey and the other batters spoke to Rahane.

“Apparently, Ajinkya told them not to play the drive too much during the initial part of the innings as the ball moves around a lot in the UK,” the official said.

“He told the batters to concentrate on playing as close to the body as possible. He believes that with late swing, there would always be the lure to play the cover drive but its best to avoid the stroke initially.”

“He told the batters that it should be like first 15 runs and then another 25 and another 30 runs. He also spoke that in England, there would be inevitable rain-breaks.”

"A batter who is in good rhythm might feel tempted to continue in same vein post break. But any rain break means that one should start from scratch which helps in greater focus."