Ajinkya Rahane aims to play 100. A fine Ranji season last year, earned him a recall into the India Test team last season for the WTC final against Australia. He hopes to repeat the trick.

Eighty-five Test matches, 5077 runs, having captained India to historic wins over Australia, hundreds at Lords and MCG – Ajinkya Rahane has had a distinguished career. At the age of 35, most players with such numbers would be happy to put their feet up and relax. But the battle-scarred veteran is not finished yet.

That the fire still burns bright can be seen from the way he is turning up every day for Mumbai in domestic cricket, away from the spotlight of international cricket, and ding the hard yards. A fine Ranji season last year, earned him a recall into the India Test team last season for the WTC final against Australia, and he is aiming to achieve the same again.

“I’m looking for a do well for Mumbai one game at a time. The aim is to lift the Ranji Trophy and bigger aim is to play 100 Test matches,” said Rahane after leading Mumbai to a 10-wicket win over Andhra in the Ranji Trophy game at home on Monday.

Ajinkya Rahane aims to play 100
Ajinkya Rahane aims to play 100

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Success in Batting: Rahane’s Mindset (Ajinkya Rahane aims to play 100):

The onus is on the next generation of batters to take over from Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. But Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, and Shreyas Iyer were found wanting in the two Tests in South Africa. The hallmark of the two middle-order stalwarts was their performances in tough overseas conditions – South Africa, New Zealand, England, and Australia.

Asked what it takes to succeed at the highest level, Rahane said: “It’s all about the mindset. Your game doesn’t suddenly change. In the end, the batter has to watch the ball and play. But it’s about mindset when you are over there… what you are thinking… that is different for each individual. How you prepare, the process you follow… all those small things matter. You just can’t think about just batting and bowling. At the international level, your mindset should be right. How strong you are mentally is important as well. How you handle pace, how you handle failure. All these things matter.”

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For Rahane, good batting is not about being safe, one has to be courageous. “By courageous I mean, you have to play your game. That’s what I’m saying. It doesn’t mean you go out there and slog. It’s all about taking that extra risk or maybe playing with intent. (If you are) Thinking about your own performance, you go into your shell. But when you put your team first team first, play your game, there is no fear of failure… that should be the attitude.”

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