India vs England: Although Team India have been hit with yet another injury with Mayank Agarwal ruled out, in good news, Ajinkya Rahane is fully fit after recovering from a hamstring niggle and is raring to go. Virat Kohli’s India will take on Joe Root’s England in the 1st Test starting on August 4 at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
“I had a small niggle but I’m fully fit now. Whatever the physios and trainers asked me to do, I completed that in the training sessions. I’m looking forward to the Test match. I’m fully prepared. Preparation has been really good so far for me. Even though I didn’t play the warm-up game, I was practising on the sidelines. I had a couple of good practice sessions. Completely ready and fit to play,” Ajinkya Rahane said in a virtual press conference on Monday.
India vs England: Ajinkya Rahane’s news comes as a major boost for Virat Kohli’s India who have been struggling with batting. The warm-up match against Select County XI showed India’s struggles and apart from KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja, none could fair well. However, Rahane said that the team has discussed batting weaknesses after the debacle of the WTC Final against New Zealand and the team has addressed the issues.
“We sat together and discussed our batting plans. In England, it’s challenging conditions for the batsmen. Everyone has their own plans and we back every individual to back their own game, rather than focusing too much on technique or anything else. As a group, communication will be key as a batting unit, but individually everyone should back their own methods in England. Because the conditions changes quickly, within 15/20 minutes sometimes it gets overcast. It is about getting used to the conditions and backing your own methods,” Ajinkya Rahane said.
India vs England: However, one aspect that would trouble Team India is off form of Cheteshwar Pujara. India’s batting mainstay in Tests, Pujara has been struggling with his form. That he has not scored a ton in the last 16 matches apart from failing to provide India the momentum. After just 8 and 15 in the WTC final, he returned with 21 & 38 in the warm-up match against Select County XI.
While Ajinkya Rahane backed Pujara, he ruled out a change in batting position for him. “Pujara is our No 3. Pujara has been really solid for us as a No 3 batsman, so he will continue batting at that position. But as an opening pair, obviously the captain, coach and the management will decide the combination,” Rahane said.
India vs England: As for winning the Test series in England, Ajinkya Rahane said the team is up for the challenge. If India manage to win the series in England, it will be after 2007. Under Virat Kohli, India have toured England once and was drubbed 1-4 in 2018.
“When you play away from home, there’s always a challenge, regardless of where you play. It’s about putting our best foot forward and getting used to the conditions quickly. I thought in 2018 we played very good cricket but the results didn’t go our way. We want to focus on our own game. Rather than focusing on the series, we will be focusing on one game at a time and try and give our best. It’s all about giving your best in every single game and not thinking about the series,” he signed off.