Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh) [India]: Ajinkya Rahane, who is one of India’s batting mainstay, believes that the side would continue with the same aggressive intent in the upcoming five-match ODI series, which it displayed in the recently concluded Tests against New Zealand.
Having completely outplayed the Black Caps during the 3-0 whitewash in the longest format of the game, the Men in Blue would be brimming with confidence when the two sides meet in the first ODI here at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium on Sunday.
However, it should be noted that the Kiwis are ranked higher than India in ODIs and thus the task would not be that easy when it comes to the ODIs. Kane Williamson’s team is placed third in the ICC ODI rankings, one above India, which is placed fourth in the rankings.
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team will have to win the five ODI series by at least a 4-1 margin to move up a position in the rankings.
Speaking to reporters here, Rahane emphasized that discipline would be the key and Team India would be looking with the same brand of aggressive cricket.
“Discipline will be the key and the kind of cricket we played in Test series – our intent was aggressive all the time. So here again our intent will be to remain aggressive, play intense cricket and play to our strengths rather than focussing on their strengths or weaknesses,” Rahane said.
When asked about the how the team would adjust from Test to ODI format, the 28-year-old Mumbaikar said, “I believe it’s completely mental adjustment because professional cricketers like us, it’s important to adjust to any format. Whether it’s Test to T20 or one-day to Test. It’s important how we adjust mentally and getting used to the conditions will be, and is, a big factor.”
“We are tuned into that and actually experienced in doing that. We don’t really think about getting into one-day from Test or T20s. It’s all about how you deal with a certain situation, factor. I will stick to my strength and mental adjustment in ODIs will be the key,” he added.
The right-handed batsman also insisted that momentum would 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. The guys have done well in the A series while few of them did well in the Ranaji Trophy. I am really excited and looking forward to this series. We are going to play one match at a time and obviously win this series,” he said.
The squad of the teams for the five-match series is as follows:
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain and wicketkeeper), Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Jayant Yadav, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Kedar Jhadav, Mandeep Singh, Amit Mishra, Dhawal Kulkarni, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Anton Devcich, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Matt Henry, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wicketkeeper), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Tim Southee.
The schedule of the ODI series is:
First ODI: 16 October at HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala.
Second ODI: 20 October at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi.
Third ODI: 23 October at PCA Stadium, Mohali.
Fourth ODI: 26 October at JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi.
Fifth ODI: 29 October at Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam. (ANI)