Rahane is eager to make number four his own
By Aditya Pratap - Feb 3, 2018 5:32 pm
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Ajinkya Rahane is eager to make number four position his own in India’s ODI team after batting at the same position against South Africa in the series opener. He scored a sparkling 79 in 86 balls and shared a match-winning 189-run stand with Virat Kohli.

Kohli and Rahane chased down the total comfortably for India

Indian team management including Kohli backed him as the backup opener and tried everyone at number four. However, when given opportunity, Rahane scored yet another half-century at this position, which is his fourth successive at this position and fifth straight in five ODI innings.

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“I am better equipped, I am more mature now, I know how to build my innings at No. 4,” Rahane said on Saturday. “Yes I enjoy batting at top two positions but when you represent your country and you get a chance to bat at whatever number you just want to give your best for the team.”

He further added “When I went into bat [in Durban], my first thought was to build a partnership and rotating the strike. We knew they have a very good bowling attack. Especially [Kagiso] Rabada is their main bowler and Imran Tahir in the middle is a wicket-taker. We targetted a few bowlers, we’ll go after them. But mindset was to rotate the strike and keep the run-rate level. Last 10 overs we didn’t want to chase too many runs.”

Test side’s Vice-captain Rahane was omitted from first two Test against South Africa, but made a comeback in the last Test and scored a crucial 48 in the second innings of a mischievous Johannesburg pitch. He feels those runs were the confidence booster for him and helped him to overcome from the down.

“Batting at No. 4 is different. The confidence which came from last Test win at Johannesburg, I got 48 so confidence came from there. But I was actually determined to do well at No. 4 because I batted at that number in 2015 World Cup and few other series as well,” said the 29-year-old.

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“Here the situation was completely different. We were chasing 270 and we knew that it was a par score on that wicket. Our bowlers did a really good job. Personally batting at No. 4, I really enjoyed and I am looking forward to doing even better.”

The second game will be played on Sunday in Centurion, where hosts will be fielding with a new captain in Aiden Markram.