Ajinkya Rahane who is also the vice-captain of the Indian team, is a crucial part of the Indian batting line-up. He has successfully established himself as one of the best red-ball players. But there was a time in his career when Rahane was struggling to find a place in the Indian team.
Rahane was a household name in India’s domestic circuit. He was scoring a truckload of runs while featuring in the domestic tournaments. He was even performing in the IPL as an uncapped player. However, it was only in August 2011 that the right-hander received his maiden call-up to the Indian squad.
Ajinkya represented India in ODIs and T20Is in 2011. But he got a chance to make his debut in the longest format of the game in March 2013. Before making his Test debut, Rahane warmed the bench in the Indian contingent for over a year. This lack of appreciation and acknowledgment for performance in the domestic circuit can disturb any youngster.
However, Rahane was unfazed by all this as he received a golden piece of advice from his idol, Rahul Dravid. The 33-year-old revealed that during the 2008-09 Duleep Trophy, Rahul Dravid noticed him and called him up for a brief interaction.
Rahane says Dravid’s advice kept him motivated throughout his journey
Dravid told Rahane not to run after the Indian call-up. While Dravid praised Ajinkya for his spectacular performance, he also advised the batsman to just focus on his game and keep performing.
“I remember in a Duleep Trophy final, we were playing against South Zone in 2008-09 and Rahul Dravid was playing in it in Chennai. I got runs in that game – 165 and 98. Rahul Bhai called me up after the game and said, I’ve read about you a lot, you are scoring a lot of runs. As a player, it is very natural that you will start expecting an India call-up. All I would tell you is to keep on doing what you’ve been doing,” Rahane told ESPN Cricinfo.
“You keep focusing on that and India call-up will come automatically. Don’t run after it, it will follow you. Getting that advice from someone like Rahul Bhai really motivated me a lot. That inspired me a lot. He has seen a lot of ups and downs. I got another thousand runs next season and two years after that, I was selected,” said Rahane.
Rahane is currently practicing in the UK for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand on 18 June. He is India’s leading run-scorer in the championship.
Do you want to play Casino games online? Click here to find a range of online casino brands
If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com
Also, follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.com
To bet on sports, click here