Bangladesh v India, Asia Cup, Fatullah

I wasn't feeling any pressure - Rahane

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 26, 2014

Comments: 25 | Text size: A | A

Having scored just 51 runs in five innings during the ODI series in New Zealand, Ajinkya Rahane might have felt under pressure coming into India's opening match of the Asia Cup against Bangladesh. But after scoring 73 and putting on 213 with Virat Kohli to guide India to their target of 280, Rahane said he felt relaxed when he first arrived at the crease.

"Frankly speaking, I wasn't thinking about the past," he said. "I was slightly relaxed and just wanted to play my game. I got a hundred in the last innings in New Zealand [in the Test series], so I was confident during my batting. My plan was to take my time initially and then play my shots. That really worked today."

India had lost both their openers in the space of two overs when Rahane walked in to bat. At that stage, Rahane said the pitch hadn't been an easy one to start an innings on.

Ajinkya Rahane punches through the covers, Bangladesh v India, Asia Cup 2014, Fatullah, February 26, 2014
'It wasn't easy to play shots initially' - Ajinkya Rahane © AFP

"On this wicket, shot selection was very crucial," he said. "It was not easy to play shots initially, the ball was keeping low. There was some odd bounce and uneven bounce. We were just planning to play straight initially and back ourselves to play our shots later on. Obviously Virat took his chances really well and that worked."

Bangladesh left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak had said that dew had made life very difficult for Bangladesh's bowlers under lights. Rahane, however, said it hadn't been that much of a factor. "I don't think so," he said. "It was there, but only after 38-40 overs."

When India bowled, they had done well at the death to restrict Bangladesh to 279 after a big partnership between Anamul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim. In the last five overs, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami bowled the yorker particularly well. During their first pre-tournament training session, India's bowlers had been seen practicing their yorkers against a foam dummy made to look like a batsman.

"I think that is working really well," Rahane said. "Joey is really working hard with the bowlers in the nets and that is really crucial. On this wicket, I think the bowlers did really well. Bhuvi and Shami later on bowled wicket to wicket and it was not easy to hit that length."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Naresh28 on (February 28, 2014, 7:08 GMT)

EVERYONE suffers at one time or the other with a KEY PLAYER missing e.g. Dhoni or SHAKIB. As a team you have to give it your everything without them. That is why you choose a squad of 16. I agree that cricket writers never portray a good picture with bias towards their home team.

Posted by BigINDFan on (February 27, 2014, 16:52 GMT)

@i_amVIVA - BD captain got his credit and that is sports for you pal. Fan base will only talk about their players. As for key players missing, deal with it and stop complaining. If you want sportsmanship ask Shakib who displayed it so well on live television and got himself out of the team when they need him the most. The problem with SC fans is we complain a lot about missing players and sportsmanship. Aus play with who is available and fight it out every game and the fans accept it.

As for Ind - either get rid of Rohit or play him in middle order. Dhawan needs a solid opener like Pujara or Rahane on the top. Also one of Ashwin or Jadeja should be played and the other spot should go to either Binny or a proper spinner like Mishra/Chawla. Pandey/Varun should be alternated to give both exposure and opportunities to support Shami and Bhuvi. Glad to see yorkers finally but still ways to go to improve death bowling.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 11:19 GMT)

Rahane has to open the innings in place of Rohit. He is the perfect buffer between two aggressive players in Dhawan and Kohli. Rohit coming it at 4, followed by Rayudu or Raina, DK or MSD, and five bowlers including two allrounders in Jadeja and Ashwin or Binny will make a fantastic side.

Posted by Barkas_Lungi on (February 27, 2014, 9:55 GMT)

@Albert_cambell that's a bit rich. Only time will tell how good Junaid Khan is against Kohli/India. Till then keep the flag flying.

Posted by Naresh28 on (February 27, 2014, 7:40 GMT)

WELL DONE TO RAHANE. He has been a real revelation to our team of late. COOL, CALM and COLLECTED - Rahul Dravid likes this youngster the best out of the new crop. Now Pujara needs to lift his game. Rohit is talented but LAZY player- a message should be sent to him by dropping him. Kohli is the guts behind the team. We still have loopholes in the fielding bowling ranks.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (February 27, 2014, 7:24 GMT)

@i_amVIVA Did you watch Indian players patting Mushfiqur for his century ? But i didn't see any BD player congratulating kholi for his century. Worse the fans don't appreciate his strokes and left the stadium early. All i saw was over enthusiasm and aggressive appeals from BD players.

And whats the routine drubbing you are calling?

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:13 GMT)

The title "I wasn't feeling any pressure" brings little respite to Indian fans.. having failed miserably in NZ, playing second fiddle to Kohli isn't going to put 95% of batsmen under any kinda pressure. I still believe for this guy to flourish, he should swap positions with Rohit Sharma. Rohit has a rather ordinary technique to face the new ball.. Rahane with his straight bat and timing might be better suited to open the innings. Rohit with his six hitting abilities can be a great advantage for this batting side which doesn't have Raina, Yuvi or Dhoni in the line up this tournament. He has always had slow starts.. even in his 200 he started rather slowly. Rahane, Dhawan, Kohli, Rayudu, Rohit, Dhoni(Karthik), Jaddu, Ash would be my batting order..

Posted by switchmitch on (February 27, 2014, 6:41 GMT)

Rahane, Pujara and their ilk should only play test cricket. Of course, they will succeed in the ODIs because they have the game and the class but they should be preserved for the tests, which is the real deal. One day games are just a lottery. On the flip side, players like Ashwin, Jadeja, Raina, Yuvraj, should only be played in the ODIs. Their game is suited to this style and not the tests.

Posted by Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on (February 27, 2014, 6:26 GMT)

Rahane is a good prospect for the future. He provides a steady hand at No. 4 and can rebuild innings as he showed today. With Dhoni back at 6, now all India needs is an explosive No. 5. They can try Rayudu, wait for Raina, try DK when Dhoni returns or put Rohit there, promoting Pujara to open. Looking at the WC, the XI should be: 1)Dhawan 2)Pujara 3)Kohli 4)Rahane 5)Rayudu/DK/Raina/Rohit 6)Dhoni 7)Jadeja 8)Ashwin 9)Bhuvi 10)Shami 11)Pandey/Aaron On the NZ/Aus pitches, Ashwin can be swapped for a pace all rounder like Binny or Rishi Dhawan if he does well. Aaron needs to work on control and Pandey should be tried. The batting looks solid, with players that can play both spin and pace well.

Posted by bhushanB on (February 27, 2014, 5:36 GMT)

Congrats Rahane.. keep up the good work.....

Posted by i_amVIVA on (February 27, 2014, 5:17 GMT)

Since Ind won, it is only kholi century and praise all over the site; Barely any Indian supporter cared for citing or recognizing the fine knock from the other captain, who also scored a century first, against a relatively stronger opponent, with similar strike rates. Such un-sportsmanship behavior by this crowd may not be unexpected, as their team is routinely drubbed every now and then by this so called minnow neighbor. But the heartbreak is when Cricinfo itself portrays the same double standard against the fine host along with her captain, who were by no means any easy push over in the game, despite their key players being absent from the game.

Posted by cheguramana on (February 27, 2014, 5:06 GMT)

Happy to see some improvement in death bowling. Let's see if it sustains, esp against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. What took the bowling coach so long to start working on death bowling ?? He's been around for over 2 yrs now ?

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 27, 2014, 4:52 GMT)

Well done Rahane. He will be another good batsman in making from Indian batting factory. @Albert_cambell. Thanks for entertaining us. A team who cannot beat even SL will not beat India or BD. The match between Pak-Afgan must be good to watch. An evenly matched teams. Anything can happen. I will not be surprise if Afgan wins.

Posted by Albert_cambell on (February 27, 2014, 4:31 GMT)

No worries Pakistan will beat India and reach the Finals. Pakistan teams favourite punching bag is Indian team. Kohli has no power against Junaid Khan.

Posted by Mayank Holani on (February 27, 2014, 4:23 GMT)

Everyone are just talking about Virat .butt on e playeer who played very well.That partnership of 213 runs was crucial so he also played very well.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 4:04 GMT)

Keep going of luck for next match

Posted by uynamihba on (February 27, 2014, 3:44 GMT)

As much as I like Rahane, I hope India find someone else for that spot in the ODI team. Pujara, Rahane and Vijay should exclusively play tests considering the immense workload in modern international cricket. That's why it's important that Yuvraj and Raina get back into form fast.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 3:40 GMT)

Rahane is a safe bet for india at no 4. He is a very good player in rotating the strike and has a very good score conversion rate. Before wc india must recall raina at no 5. His 30's is crucial for india and probably had he been selected for asia cup ,these pitches suit him a lot. India must call gambir back and drop rohit out of ODI side.

Posted by CricTimer on (February 27, 2014, 2:49 GMT)

It was obvious, nither Rahane nor Kohli was feeling pressure. They just had to wait for the bad balls delivery and there were plenty. No bowling pressures what so ever from Bangladesh. Although there was bit of performance with new balls during the first few overs, later in vain. Bangladesh yet to find bowlers that will respect their batting ability and deliver accordingly. Mushfiq's bowler choice during last match was an issue too. Also he did NOT set his field from where most of the runs were coming from. Shane Jurgensen needs to coach hard with the BD bowling department.

Posted by Rajesh_India_1980 on (February 27, 2014, 2:46 GMT)

Another flat track king I suppose.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 2:14 GMT)

keep improving boy

Posted by Nampally on (February 27, 2014, 1:43 GMT)

Rahane played a responsible innings & got out trying to hit off the remaining 10 runs in that over. He mistimed his shot to end up as a catch at the long off instead of going for a 6!. Kohli got out to a rather tired looking shot because he played so casually trying to steer it to the third man. I think he was slightly late coming down with the bat & the ball clipped the outer side of the Off stump. Kohli & Rahane built up a huge partnership which totally demoralised the bowlers on a placid pitch. They took their time & were in command & in winning position all the way. As for Rqahane "being under pressure', is hardly the correct terminology for a man who scored a match saving century in his last Test appearance in the NZ. So he was full of confidence & relaxed as he himself said. I only felt sorry that he did not get little more of the strike to complete his century. He certainly deserved it. Rahane & pujara are similar & both suited for #4 spot. Mysteriously Dhoni failed to see it!

Posted by satchander on (February 27, 2014, 0:42 GMT)

Well played Rahane. Hope you score more consistently in the ODIs (50 odd runs in NZ 5 match ODI series was highly disappointing). Your fielding is exceptional as we all know but please score runs consistently in the ODIs too.

Posted by IndTheBest on (February 26, 2014, 23:10 GMT)

Though Rahane played well today, I still wonder that if I have to pick one among Rahane, Pujara and D Kartik, what credentials make him make preferable over other two.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 22:37 GMT)

India should let Rahane open otherwise Rohit is putting us under pressure in the beginning and we'll struggle chasing a 320+ total.

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