ST JOHN’S – Batsman Ajinkya Rahane believes run-scoring will be difficult on Caribbean pitches and has urged his teammates to be disciplined and patient in the four-Test series against West Indies which bowls off here Thursday.
The 28-year-old, who is on his first tour of Caribbean, said being steady and purposeful would count for more rather than being aggressive and attempting to score quickly.
“We have talked about how to bat on the slower tracks. Patience will be the key here and it is not going to be easy to score runs for the batsmen,” he said.
“But if you focus and concentrate well, once you get settled it will be very easy to bat on. Even the bowlers have to bowl very disciplined line and lengths here and be patient here.”
He continued: “Once you get set it is important to make each and every session count, because we will have to give time for our bowlers. It is not easy to take 20 wickets on these slower tracks.
“As a batting unit we will have to take responsibility and I think one or two batsmen will have to get set and score big here.”
Rahane failed to get a score of significance during the two tour-matches at Warner Park in St Kitts recently, scoring 32 in the first game and five in the other.
However, several of the tourists found form during the three-day game against the WICB President’s XI which ended Saturday, with captain Virat Kohli, Lokesh Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja all getting half-centuries.
Rahane said adjusting to the conditions would be important if their batsmen were to thrive.
“You cut out certain shots … but I don’t think we will have to change anything really,” Rahane pointed out.
“We will have to cut out some shots initially, and after that when you get used to the conditions, you will play your shots. But initially it is important to give time.”
He added: “If you are used to getting 100 off 150 balls, maybe here you will have to get 100 off 250 balls. So, as a batsman it is important to play atleast 200-plus balls here.”
India face West Indies in the opening Test at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, before clashing in the other contests at Sabina Park in Jamaica, the Darren Sammy National Stadium in St Lucia and Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad.
Rahane, who averages nearly 45 from 22 Tests, said they did not expect any change in pitch conditions throughout the series.
“I think we will get similar tracks but here [in Antigua] we will have to wait until July 21 to see how the wicket finally looks like,” he noted.
“But in St. Kitts it was a really slow track, a bit similar to Indian wickets and we are preparing for slow tracks in the series. So the two practice matches were really crucial for us and this first game will give us momentum.”