'Don't want to think about past, just want to start afresh': Rahane ahead of WTC final

The 34-year-old batter regained his form during IPL 2023, representing Chennai Super Kings and assisting them to their fifth IPL title.

ARUNDEL (ENGLAND): Back in the Indian squad after nearly 18 months, senior batter Ajinkya Rahane stated that he does not want to have any "regrets" for the time lost and would like to bat in the upcoming World Test Championship final against Australia with the same "intent" like he did in the just-concluded IPL.

"Coming back after 18-19 months, whatever has happened, good or bad, I don't want to think about my past. I just want to start afresh and keep doing whatever I have been doing," Rahane said.

Rahane, who was a part of CSK's fifth IPL title-winning side, has already received a lot of praise for his attacking batting and improved strike rate in T20 cricket. Especially, the 27-ball 61 against Mumbai Indians showed a shift in his intent.

He said, "Personally I enjoyed playing for CSK as I have been batting well throughout the season. Even before IPL, I had a very good domestic season and I felt good. So this comeback was a bit emotional for me."

"I would not like to think about format whether it is T20 or Tests. The way I am batting now, I don't want to complicate things and the more I keep it simple, better it is for me," he added.

The veteran who has represented India in 82 Tests scoring 4,931 runs, while also leading India to the memorable series triumph in Australia in 2021, praised Rohit Sharma for leading the current team admirably for the better part of this WTC cycle.

"Rohit is handling the team really well and I am sure Rahul bhai is also handling the team really well. That helps as well and the atmosphere is really good. Whatever I am seeing right now is that everyone is enjoying each other's company," he said.

Rahane thanked his family and friends for the support he got during his time away from the national team. He also thanked the BCCI and the selectors for adding him to the WTC Final squad.

"It was (an) emotional moment for me. When I got dropped, the support I got from my family was massive and my dream was to play for India. Playing for India matters a lot for me and I worked hard on my fitness and went back to domestic cricket. Be it Ranji Trophy or Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy or practice session, for me, every day that I was waking up, it was all about thinking that I can play for India again," said Rahane

Rahane, who had scored a match-winning hundred in a Test match at Lord's back in 2014, said that playing in England is challenging.

"It's all about mindset and reading the situation well, staying in (the) moment and playing it session by session. In England, you just don't look at the pitch but also keep an eye on the weather," he said.

The WTC Final is set to begin on 7th June, Wednesday, at The Oval in England, where India will face Australia for the Championship.

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