India’s skipper for the last three Tests against Australia, Ajinkya Rahane has revealed that ahead of the Australia tour, Rahul Dravid had advised him not to bat a lot in the nets which might’ve put unnecessary pressure on him.
Ajinkya Rahane had to endure some torrid times in Test cricket in the last few years and notwithstanding his century in the Windies in late 2019, he was finding it difficult to stick around. However, the Australia series proved to be the real difference as the Mumbaikar scored a solid century in Melbourne to guide the side to a victory and eventually led the side to a historic 2-1 series win.
The preparation had been terrific too, with Rahane notching up a fine century in the warm-up game beforehand and replicating the same in the series. Opening up about his experiences with Harsha Bhogle, the stand-in skipper stated that Dravid advised him not to bat a lot in the nets and not put pressure on himself.
“Rahul bhai actually called me before the series, when we were leaving for Australia from Dubai. He said, ‘Don’t take any stress, I know you are leading the team after the first Test. Don’t worry about anything, just be strong mentally. Don’t bat a lot in the nets’, (which is) unlike Rahul Bhai,” Ajinkya Rahane told commentator Harsha Bhogle in an interaction.
Rahane: That advice was really good
Rahane further added that Dravid’s advice worked as a calming influence and it helped him massively while leading the side in one of the toughest circumstances amidst unusual injury concerns.
“Rahul Bhai loves batting, and he was like ‘that’s the mistake I did’. He said, ‘don’t bat a lot in the nets, your preparation is really good, you’re batting so well. So, don’t take any pressure. Just think about how you are going to lead the team, how you are going to give confidence to the players. Don’t worry about the result, it will take care of itself’. That conversation really made it easy — Rahul Bhai telling me to not bat a lot in the nets. It was really good,” he said.