India’s vice-captain in the red-ball team for Ajinkya Rahane has been one of the batting mainstays for the Indian cricket team in Test format. The Test specialist is currently in England as part of the Indian Test team which is all set to lock horns against Kane Williamson-led New Zealand in the much-awaited World Test Championship Final. The mega-event will kickstart from June 18 in Southampton,
Ahead of the much-awaited event, Ajinkya Rahane remembered his grind in the domestic cricket before getting an India call-up. Rahane, who earned his maiden call-up for India in the year 2011, recalled an important piece of advice from the legendary Rahul Dravid that inspired him.
In an interview with former India wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta for ESPNCricinfo, Rahane revealed his interaction with Dravid during a Duleep Trophy final in 2008-09. He revealed:
“I remember in a Duleep Trophy final, we were playing against South Zone in 2008-09 and Rahul Dravid was playing in it in Chennai. I got runs in that game – 165 and 98. Rahul bhai called me up after the game and said, I’ve read about you a lot, you are scoring a lot of runs. As a player, it is very natural that you will start expecting an India call-up. All I would tell you is to keep on doing what you’ve been doing,”
“You keep focussing on that and India call-up will come automatically. Don’t run after it, it will follow you. Getting that advice from someone like Rahul bhai really motivated me a lot. That inspired me a lot. He has seen a lot of ups and downs. I got another thousand runs next season and two years after that, I was selected.”
Further in the interaction, Rahane explained how he was anxious after not getting an India call-up despite scoring runs consistently in first-class cricket. He also revealed how Pravin Amre helped him after he had a poor start to his First-Class career. He revealed:
“The first three or four games in my first season of Ranji Trophy did not go well. People had started to say that I should be dropped and sent back to club cricket but Pravin Amre, who was our coach at that time said that ‘once we have got someone into the side, we should at least give him 7-8 matches before deciding.’”
“There used to be seven league matches at that time and my rest of the games went quite well, I scored runs and from then, for the next five seasons, I scored more than 1000 runs every time in First-class Cricket. So yes, after the first two-three years I started thinking that I could get a call-up any day but the more I thought about it, the further it went away,”