Ajinkya Rahane on ODI comeback: Don’t have to prove myself to anyone, will play with freedom in IPL 2020

India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane believes he can be more than just a one-format player, saying he is working hard to make a comeback into the limited-overs set-up.

Speaking on the latest episode of India Today Inspiration, Ajinkya Rahane said he had a good record in ODIs over the last 3-4 years before he was dropped from the limited-overs sides. Rahane was not part of the 2019 World Cup squad and last played an ODI in February 2018.

Rahane had asked for consistent opportunities in the ODI side but he was not seen as someone who would provide the muscle with big-hitting in the middle-order. Notably, in 2018, Rahane batted at No. 4 a year after he shone as an opener.

In 2017, Rahane hit a hundred and 3 fifties in India’s tour of West Indies at the opening spot and followed it up with 4 successive fifties against Australia at home, maintaining an average strike rate of 77.71.

“I think the first plan is to come back in ODI cricket. I don’t generally talk about my records but I think an important factor is my record is actually really good over the last 3-4 years before I was dropped,” Rahane told Boria Majumdar, Consulting Editor, Sports, India Today Group.

“Whether it’s opening the batting or at No. 4, my record was very good, my strike rate again was very good. I think my aim is to come back into the ODI set-up. I don’t when the opportunity will come but I have to work hard, I am working really hard on all the aspects. I am really confident about myself. It’s all about having the self belief and being positive, being fearless.”

‘It’s all about playing with freedom in IPL 2020’

Rahane said he is looking forward to playing for the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2020 but he is not under pressure to prove a point to anyone. Rahane said he is planning to approach the upcoming tournament with a lot of freedom and desire to contribute for the Capitals.

“I don’t have to prove it to anyone. Yes, IPL is the best platform. I don’t have to prove to anyone, it’s all about playing with freedom and playing for my team and doing well for my team.

“If I contribute to my team, I think other factors will happen automatically. That said, my records in ODI before I was dropped was very good. I am not thinking about proving to anyone. Working hard on my game and keeping improving day by day and being positive is what I am planning to do,” Rahane said.

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