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Rahane says a good IPL will take him closer to World Cup berth

Ajinkya Rahane banks on IPL outing for World Cup berth

New Delhi, March 16: There have been a lot of talks about India's No 4 slot, as the team is one stop away from the ICC World Cup 2019. With all international fixtures done, only the Indian Premier League (IPL) remains for skipper Virat Kohli, coach Ravi Shastri and the selectors to decide on who they wish to pick for the position. And one man who is in the running is Rajasthan Royals' skipper Ajinkya Rahane.

Rahane though made it clear that he isn't over thinking about the World Cup bus. For the Mumbaikar, the process is more important than the final result and he wants to focus on doing well in the IPL as he feels that it will automatically take him closer to the goal of representing India in the showpiece event.

1. On World Cup berth

1. On World Cup berth

"The approach won't be any different with the World Cup spot looming because at the end you are playing cricket, be it the IPL or any other tournament. You have to score runs and do well for the team. The most important thing will be to think about the Rajasthan Royals rather than thinking too much about the road ahead. See, if I do well in the IPL, the World Cup (slot) will automatically come," said Rahane. "I feel it is important to express yourself and not take any undue pressure thinking about things which aren't in your control. The focus is the IPL."

2. On welcoming back Steve Smith

2. On welcoming back Steve Smith

"We are all very excited to have him back. Initially we didn't know if he will be able to make it or not (due to the elbow injury). But when we were told he is coming, that was a boost because his experience and records are unbelievable. He has the ability to win the team matches and that is important for any team," he said.

3. On having Warne as advisor

3. On having Warne as advisor

Shane Warne might be the brand ambassador this time, but his role of mentoring the side last year also came as a huge boost for Rahane the skipper as he had the former Australia spinner to back him and help him with strategising. "The experience with Warne was brilliant. My first season was his last season as a player. Picking his mind is very important because he is a legend. He was always involved and kept strategising with us. He loves talking cricket and as a team we have learned a lot just as I have personally learned," Rahane said.

4. On India's Test season

4. On India's Test season

"I think this was really special as we all know how difficult it is to win in Australia. This is one of the big achievements for us because going and winning a Test series on foreign soil isn't easy. Starting well is very important and that is what we did in Australia. We had the momentum from the word go and we kept dominating," he said.

5. On captaining Rajasthan Royals

5. On captaining Rajasthan Royals

The last year was really good for us, especially as we were coming back after two years and captaining RR was a great experience. I want to thank the management for supporting me and I don't feel any pressure this year. It is important to play as a team and look to enjoy every moment as the IPL is a long tournament. There are players from different cultures and it is important to gel well and start on a positive note," he said.

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    Story first published: Saturday, March 16, 2019, 15:05 [IST]
    Other articles published on Mar 16, 2019
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