India will look to emulate their Test series whitewash over New Zealand as they gear up to face them in a 5 match ODI series starting 16 October at Dharamsala. Star batsman Ajinkya Rahana caught up with the media at the venue and spoke about India’s squad, chances in the series and his involvement with the team.
Since his debut, Rahane has been an important member of the Indian squad in all the 3 formats of the game and has established himself as one of the best stroke makers in the modern game. His performances in test cricket over the past few years have been amazing as he boasts an average of 51 in 29 matches.
His ODI average of 33.22 is something which he would like to improve upon and he will be looking to do so in the upcoming series against the Blackcaps. In the absence of Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul, the big question asked is whether he would open the batting for India along with Rohit Sharma.
This was the first question which was posed to him during his media interaction and he replied by saying that he was not sure of what his batting position would be and would find out only after the practice session.
“Frankly speaking, I will get to know after this practice session. Really looking forward to this one-day series. We have done well in the Test series, won 3-0, but it’s important to start fresh here. Again I will say, momentum will be the key and winning the first match will be important to gain that momentum. I am really excited about the new guys coming into the team. It’s really energising and everyone is looking in good shape. Guys have done well in the A series while few of them did well in the Ranji Trophy. I am really excited and looking forward to this series,” said Rahane.
Which position is best suited for Rahane?
Going by statistics of his batting positions in ODIs in different positions, he should be opening the batting for India in this upcoming series.
As we can see, he has performed when he’s opened the batting. In 21 innings, he has amassed 830 runs and scored 2 out of his 4 ODI centuries and 4 half centuries at well at an average of 41.50 which is much higher than his overall average.
He has had reasonable success at No 4 as well, averaging 37 in 20 innings. If he chooses to bat in this position in the ODIs, it would be interesting to see as to who would open the innings. The baton might pass to Mandeep Singh in this case.
Rahane has had a poor record batting against New Zealand in ODIs. In 5 innings, he has scored only 51 runs at an average of 10.20. He has the perfect opportunity to improve on this dubious record in this series.
All eyes will be on the new-look Indian squad as they begin their campaign on Sunday.