Praising India’s Test skipper Virat Kohli for his leadership skills, Ajinkya Rahane told NDTV on Monday that the prolific batsman is a perfect team man. “Virat Kohli has learnt a lot from MS Dhoni. He is a perfect team-man. Kohli listens to everybody’s suggestions in team meetings,” Rahane said. Rahane was speaking ahead of India’s five-match Test series vs England, which starts from Wednesday in Rajkot. “We have been playing very good cricket recently,” he said, adding that it was important for the players to keep fit till the fifth Test. India has plans to approach DRS The Decision Review System (DRS) will be in focus during the five-match Test series, and Rahane said on Monday that the team has made some plans on how to approach the controversial technology. “It’s a completely new concept. We have to wait and see about DRS. We have been discussing about this from the last series (against New Zealand) and we have (formulated) some plans. “We will spend some (more) time explaining about DRS (to team members), how it works and how we should approach it, but the main focus is to play good, attacking cricket and DRS will come later on,” Rahane said. The DRS, which had been vehemently opposed by the BCCI in the past citing lack of accuracy, finally got its approval for the upcoming series on a trial basis. Rahane said the wicketkeeper and himself as a specialist slip fielder will need to give proper inputs to the captain to make optimum use of DRS. “The wicketkeeper is very important (in the use of DRS) and as a slip fielder you have that role to convey the message to the captain and the bowler. We have to wait and see how it goes in the series. “And as a batsman you are completely involved in the game. You have to see where the ball is going and convey it to your partner. You have to be sure (whether to ask for a review or not) all the time,” he said.
Rahane also stressed on treating England with respect despite India being heavily favoured to win the series. “Playing against England will be a challenge. They have a decent side; their bating line-up is pretty experienced. Their batsmen have been here – (captain) Alastair Cook, Joe Root and all. Yes their spinners are new. Their bowling attack is comparatively inexperienced, especially the spinners,” he said.”But I always believe you have to give respect to all opponents whether their bowling attack is new or experienced. For us it’s important to focus on our strengths and we will be playing to our strengths and potential. I am sure it will be a good series.”
Rahane said India will play attacking cricket. “We want to dominate the series. We have been playing some very good cricket over the last one and a half years. It’s important for us to be consistent. Yes our aim will be to dominate all their bowlers and the more we do it the better. It’s (also) important to start well in Rajkot and continue the momentum.” About his own new role as the team’s officially designated vice-captain in a home series, the 28-year-old batsman said the added responsibility will galvanise him to do better. “I am really happy that BCCI gave me this responsibility. As a player you learn many things and as vice captain of a team the mind is always alert. I am learning new things as player and vice captain and I am happy BCCI and selectors have given me this opportunity. I think it will bring out the best in me,” he added.