Rahane focused on twilight, ready for short ball


India batsman Ajinkya Rahane has highlighted the importance of the twilight period during the first Test in Australia under lights in Adelaide, starting on Thursday.

The visitors only have one day-night Test under their collective belts so far, in India using the SG ball.

Speaking to ESPN ahead of the first Test, Rahane said the pace of the ball increases during the time the lights come into full effect, based on the warm-up game he featured in, in the lead-up to the series.

Period of changing conditions crucial

“The pace of the red ball stays the same throughout the day,” Rahane said.

“With the pink ball, the pace changes completely in those 40-50 minutes. Of course, the new ball moves a little for a while but it gets easy to bat after that.

“Then the twilight period can be challenging because the pace of the ball increases. Both off the wicket and in the air. If we focus hard during this period, it can get slightly easy again.

“For me it is all about playing with intent, playing what the situation is and what the team demands from me. I visualise that and play accordingly.

With Cameron Green a potential inclusion in the Australian attack, India face the possibility of having to face four bowlers who can all crank it up over 140km/h.

Whilst Josh Hazlewood earlier suggested India’s tail might be exposed against the short ball, Rahane was not too disheartened by the possibility of being targeted like that.

“What I see and what I think is we play short balls really well. Last time when we came here in 2018 the wickets were really challenging,” Rahane told SMH.

“The Perth wicket was really challenging, but we adjusted to those wickets really well.

“As a batting unit, we can adapt to any situation and any conditions. I feel every one of us plays short balls really well. It’s not all about that.

“Batting is all about partnerships. If you get one or two good partnerships, you know your team is really well.

“I’m not too concerned about short balls. It’s all about having that positive mindset as a batsman.”

Green a star of the future

Nevertheless, Rahane, who averages 44 from eight Tests Down Under, was quick to praise the 21-year-old all-rounder who recently scored a century for Australia ‘A’ and looked dangerous with ball in hand.

“He looked at complete cricketer,” Rahane said of Green.

It was good to see him bending his back and scoring that hundred, he looks a very good cricketer.”