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I am open to bat at any position in the batting order: Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane opens up about his role in the team and also the influence of Shane Warne and Rahul Dravid on him.

Ajinkya Rahane has said he’s open to bat at any position for India in the World Cup

Indian middle order batsman Ajinkya Rahane has said that he has no issues with batting at any position in the line-up and added that one needs to be flexible and adjust according to the requirement of the team.

The 26-year-old walked into bat at the number 7 slot in the game versus Pakistan on Sunday and was dismissed for a first-ball duck in the final over of India’s innings.

“You need to be flexible and I am ready to bat at any number. You need to have an open mind. The technique remains the same irrespective of the number you are batting at. The mind needs to be flexible and positive to be able to bat anywhere," Rahane told BCCI.tv.

"If the mind is positive then it automatically adapts to the situation. When I bat at no. 4 or 5 my mind immediately goes to strike rotations and scoring options according to the situations. I always have positive thoughts in my mind and speak to myself about it,” he added.

The Men in Blue failed to win a single game on their tour of Australia, prior to the start of the World Cup, but Rahane believes that the time spent by the current group of players Down Under will come to good use in the upcoming matches of the quadrennial event.

"We have been here for a long time now and we're playing good cricket at the moment. The experiences that we have had over the past few months here will help our mind to mould into the tournament. The challenge is to use those experiences and train the mind to get the desired results. Personally, I have learnt a lot on this tour and I am sure I will be able to learn a lot more in the future tours,” he said.

Rahane also spoke about how he was trying to keep himself fresh during such a long tour.

"I am only trying to relax my mind as much as I can and not get distracted from the ultimate goal. It is important to switch off from the game and for that I listen to music and read books to keep my mind fresh. Mental freshness is important to keep you going.

"We are all professional players and you cannot complain about things like homesickness. If your mind gets wavered by such factors then it begins to affect your performance,” the right-hander said.

I am trying to widen my range of shots: Rahane

He also revealed that he has been trying to improve upon his shot selection and is looking to get his runs from different parts of the ground.

"I have been working on shot selections. I have been working on shots that I am uncomfortable playing so that I can score even off them if the opposition has a different field placed for me. When you play certain shots, again there are mind games that you play with your opposition. There is risk involved but you need to take them.

"The boundaries here are wider and have a different angle and the inside-out shots work. I want to try different shots and play according to my strengths. If the opposition sets fields then I don't want to play in their hands. Instead I want to look at different scoring areas, thus opening up a range of other shots. You need to have umpteen shot making options to be successful,” Rahane said.

The Mumbaikar, who plays in the middle order for India, but opens the batting for his IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals, also said working with the likes of Shane Warne and Rahul Dravid in the Royals setup have helped him understand the game better.

"I still have a long way to go. As a batsman, you need to think like a bowler and vice versa. If you can do that you can read the game better. It is an ability that I learnt with the Rajasthan Royals where I played under Shane Warne and Rahul Dravid.

"Warne always used to bring different ideas on the field and think about ways to get the batsmen out. Watching Dravid Sir play, I used to ask him about his thought process and he stressed on thinking not just as a batsmen but as a bowler as well. Having played under two different captains has helped my game," he concluded.

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