India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has stressed on the importance of starting well in order to achieve a first Test series win in England since 2007.
“The conditions are completely different. We played them at home [earlier this year] where the conditions were familiar to us,” Rahane said on Monday, ahead of the first Test in Nottingham.
“We have played a lot of cricket here, but getting used to the conditions is the key. Being in the present moment matters a lot. So for us, starting well here at Nottingham is very important.”
A majority of India’s core group has toured England thrice but has not been able to repeat the heroics of Rahul Dravid’s team in 2007.
To add to that, India has been hit by a series of injury concerns ahead of the series. Rahane himself missed the tour game in Durham with a hamstring injury. Referring to it as a “niggle”, the 33-year-old said he has recovered fully.
“I am completely prepared. The preparation has been really good so far for me,” Rahane said.
“Even though I didn’t play the three-day game, I was practising on the side. Here in Nottingham, we have had a couple of good practice sessions, so I am completely ready.”
Pujara at No. 3
Asked whether Cheteshwar Pujara could be asked to open in the absence of Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal, Rahane said, “Pujara is our No. 3 batsman. Who will open our innings, we are finalising our combination. Pujara has been really solid for us as a No. 3 batsman and he will continue to bat at No. 3.
“As for the opening batsman, the captain, coach and management will decide the combination and you will get to know soon.”