India and England will lock horns in a five-match Test series beginning August 4 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. The series will mark the start of the second cycle of the World Test Championship. Ahead of the series opener, Ajinkya Rahane gave a major update about his fitness. The Indian test vice-captain had a ‘small niggle’ which kept him away from the 3-day practice match against a County Select XI last month.
While addressing a virtual press conference, Rahane said he is totally prepared for the first Test against England which gets underway on Wednesday.
“I had a small niggle but I’m fully fit now. Whatever the physios and trainers asked me to do, I completed that in the training sessions. I’m looking forward to the Test match. I’m fully prepared,” said Rahane during the press conference.
“Preparation has been really good so far for me. Even though I didn’t play the warm-up game, I was practicing on the sidelines. I had a couple of good practice sessions. Completely ready and fit to play,” he added.
India are already facing a scarcity of openers as Shubman Gill was ruled out due to a shin injury while Mayank Agarwal was declared unavailable for the Nottingham Test after suffering a concussion in the nets on Monday.
Asked if Cheteshwar Pujara could bat up the order, Rahane said, “Pujara is our No 3. Pujara has been really solid for us as a No 3 batsman, so he will continue batting at that position. But as an opening pair, obviously, the captain, coach and the management will decide the combination.”
Rahane further spoke about the challenges of playing inside a bio-bubble. He said, “I think it’s all about understanding the player’s headspace. You have to understand what the player is going through in that difficult moment. So, we respect the decision, whatever he did, it was his call.”
“But yes, it is tough, it is challenging as a player as a team to be in the bio-bubble continuously and give your best all the time takes a lot,” he added.