Rahane cherishes opening slot

The talented Ajinkya Rahane will continue to cherish a relatively new-found role at the top of the order, as India embark on a tough five-ODI series against Sri Lanka next month.

Rahane has spent the bulk of a solid Test career in the middle order, but is been employed as an opening batsman in limited-overs cricket – and recently struck a fine century against England and a complementary half-ton against the West Indies.

“Opening the batting is an important slot in the batting order because it is the openers who set up the platform for the team during a run chase or while setting a target. For improving my concentration I meditate and read books,” Rahane told bcci.tv.

“MS Dhoni had a chat with me and asked me to back my strengths and play according to them. I am at the moment concentrating on backing my own game and performing to my potential. I always try to focus on the present and work towards it rather than thinking about the future tours.”

The entertaining right-hander has averages 28.37 in ODI cricket, on the back of one century and seven half-tons – and is eager to convert more promising starts into innings of greater value.

“To bring that consistency, my focus has been to keep up the momentum that I attained until I reached a score of 30 or 40. At the same time I have realised that I need to play risk-free cricket and back myself to play proper cricketing shots,” he added.