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Ajinkya Rahane not thinking about captaincy, says focus on first D/N Test against Australia

Ajinkya Rahane, who will lead India in the three Tests due to regular captain Virat Kohli’s absence, also said that pink ball behaves differently in different phases.

SNS | New Delhi |

India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who will lead the team from second Test onwards in the upcoming four-match series against Australia, has said that his primary focus now was the first Test which will be a D/N affairs at the Adelaide Oval.

“Definitely it is a challenge. The ball behaves differently during the day and behaves differently once the lights are on. So as a batsman I think focus will be the key. As long as you can focus as a batsman…communication will be the key among the two batters. Batting in twilight period, those 40-50 minutes will be the key. If you bat well in that situation it will be good. Overall it was a good outing in the day-night warm-up (at the Sydney Cricket Ground). Start will be the key in the Test,” said Rahane while speaking to the media in a virtual conference on Tuesday.

The 32-year-ole Rahane, who will lead India in the three Tests due to regular captain Virat Kohli’s absence, also said that pink ball behaves differently in different phases.

“I think the pink ball is tough to bat initially but then it becomes easy. It moves in the twilight period that comes for 40-50 minutes in the middle. So it is challenging (then) to focus on the game, when the lights are on in twilight period as the pace increases. So if you adjust a bit…the coming time is easy. With red ball we play the entire day but the pace doesn’t change. However with pink ball, within 40-50 minutes, the pace changes completely with pink ball and we have to adjust there,” Rahane added.

India’s tour of Australia kicked off with the ODI series from November 27 which Australia won 2-1. It was followed by the three-match T20I series from December 4, won by India 2-1.

The Virat Kohli-led team will now begin their title defence of the Border-Gavaskar trophy with the pink-ball Test in Adelaide from December 17.

The first Test at Adelaide will be India’s first day-nigt Test outside home soil. It will also be skipper Virat Kohli’s only appearance in all-whites in Australia this time as he would return to India on a paternity leave after the opener.

Kohli had already informed the BCCI about his wish to return to India to unite with his wife Anushka Sharma. They are expecting their first child in January next year.

“I believe staying in the moment and present. Right now, Virat is our captain. We think about this Test match and then after that when he leaves, we will think. So for me, it is about this Test match, helping Virat out and then taking it forward,” Rahane added.

The day-night Test will be followed by Tests at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (December 26), the Sydney Cricket Ground (January 7) and the Gabba (January 15).