India opener Ajinkya Rahane on Saturday praised spin pair Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav and said it is good that Australian batsmen are not picking them.
Australian batsmen struggled to pick the duo as in the first ODI in Chennai, chinaman Kuldeep returned with 2/33 while leg-spinner Chahal scalped three wickets for 30 runs. In the second match in Kolkata, Kuldeep (3/54) took a hat-trick and Chahal chipped in with two wickets.
“This is a good sign that they were not able to pick both of them. Both are quality spinners and also did well in the domestic circuit. In ODIs its important to pick wickets in the middle overs and both guys are doing the same thing without leaking much runs. So its good to have them,” Rahane told reporters here.
When asked about the possible return of the first-choice opener Shikhar Dhawan to the squad in the fourth match, Rahane said he will try and give his best for the team without thinking about the future.
Dhawan, who was named in the Indian squad, requested the BCCI to relieve him for the first three ODIs as he wanted to be with his ill wife. So, in his absence, Rahane opened the innings with Rohit Sharma in the first two ODIs.
“See, I don’t think about the future. I always give my best whenever I get an opportunity and that’s what matters the most. Also, I always think about staying in present and we all don’t know what will happen in the future. For me, the best thing is to stick to my game plan, back myself, give my best whenever I get a chance and contribute to the team,” Rahane, who is in the team as the third-choice opener, said.
“When Shikhar returns, we all don’t know what is going to happen. But, at the moment, for me, it’s important to give my best for my team,” he added.
On the flexibility of the batting order, Rahane said, “The good thing about this team is anyone can bat anywhere. I also batted at number three, four or five. It is important how you handle and visualise the situation. Also, the minor adjustments are made in the mind.”
When the team was having a practice session, batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar visited the nets. When asked about what transpired between him and Tendulkar, Rahane said: “We had a net session four days back. He told me to back my own game.”
“He also asked me to prepare well and have a good mindset. He spoke about mental preparation and how to remain mentally strong. I got a lot of confidence from his talk,” he added.