Rahane looks to the Laxman copybook

India

Batsman Ajinkya Rahane will continue to draw inspiration from the veteran VVS Laxman, as India target a two-one series lead in the fourth Test against England, which will get underway at Old Trafford in Manchester on Thursday.

Batsman Ajinkya Rahane will continue to draw inspiration from the veteran VVS Laxman, as India target a two-one series lead in the fourth Test against England, which will get underway at in Manchester on Thursday.

Rahane has gathered a superb stretch of form in the middle order three matches into the five-fixture series, striking a fine century in triumph at Lord's and back-to-back half-tons in defeat at the Rose Bowl.

This week's clash at Old Trafford and the closing Test at The Oval in London next week will afford him the opportunity to emulate Laxman, who struck a prolific 8,781 runs at an average of 45.97 in the longest format of the international game before retiring in 2012.

"When batting at number five, you have more time on your hands. I noticed how Laxman made the optimal use of time," Rahane said in an interview with BCCI TV. "He used to come to the dressing room, relax, take a shower and take a brief nap.

"I learned from him how important it is that during this time when you are waiting for your turn to bat, you don't over-think things and stress your mind out. It is important to switch off and go out to bat with a fresh mind when your turn comes.

"At Lord's, I got to know what it feels like to win a Test match overseas. It was such an emotional feeling for all of us and it was so special. You play for moments like that. That is the feeling that makes every struggle and difficulty worthwhile."

The tourists will be without the injured Ishant Sharma for the penultimate Test, while fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar is recovering from a hurt ankle. The inexperienced Pankaj Singh will likely be replaced by spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

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