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.
"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."