I respect selector's decision: Rahane on T20 axing

ANI | Updated: Oct 02, 2017 16:59 IST

Mumbai [India], Oct 2 (ANI): Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who has been dropped for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Australia, has said that he has no complaints over losing his starting spot as it is the national selectors' decision and he respects the same.

Rahane's axing from the T20I squad came despite smashing back-to-back four half centuries in the recently-concluded five-match ODI series against the Steve Smith-led side.

"Yes, we play so much of cricket. The team management and selectors take the decisions and we respect it. Speaking about competition, it is necessary to have competition as it helps you to give your best performance. Whoever gets a chance, does well for the team. I have always enjoyed the competition (among players). As I said, if I will get another chance, I will try to convert 50s into 100s," Rahane told the reporters.

The 29-year-old said that he was quite satisfied in the ODI series against Australia which India won 4-1, asserting that he did justice to whatever responsibility he was given.

"Yes, I am happy. The responsibility and the opportunity I was given, the way I was supposed to bat, I did. Definitely, I am happy with the form I have carried from the West Indies tour to scoring four consecutive half-centuries against Australia," Rahane said.

Rahane, however, admitted that he could have converted those fifties into hundreds, adding that he would try to do the same if given opportunity in future.

"I could have converted the fifties into hundreds. It was in my mind to contribute, I stitched three 100-run partnership with Rohit (Sharma) and our aim was to give a good start to the team as an opening pair. But I will try to convert the fifty into hundred if I get the opportunity in future," he added.

A dominant performance from the Men in Blue saw them comfortably beat Australia by seven wickets in the final ODI to clinch the five-match series at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on Sunday.

Admitting that it was a proud moment for them, the opener said that his side's main aim is 2019 World Cup and that they are surely going into the right direction.

"It is a proud moment for all of us. We have achieved what we had thought before heading into the series. Our aim is 2019 World Cup and we are going in that direction. For that we have to play series by series and match by match. So, the aim of this team is to win every match and every series. We always focus on improving," Rahane said.

"If you see, we all have contributed equally. Those, who had got the opportunity, had performed well. In the middle-order, Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav, whenever they got the opportunity, they performed in crucial time. Rohit and Virat (Kohli) have always performed well. Kuldeep (Yadav) and (Yuzvendra) Chahal got a chance and they did well. Our bench strength is good," he said.

Rahane added, "The fact that all of us get a chance and perform is a good sign. If you have to win the 2019 World Cup then you have to test your bench strength. Overall, I am really happy with my performance as well as the team's performance.

India have regained the number one spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI Rankings following the series win against the reigning world champions

With the Virat Kohli-led side also maintaining numero-uno spot in Test rankings, Rahane said that his side are aiming to become number one across all formats.

"To become number one was our aim. If we want to stay there, we have to work harder. This is our focus. Not only individual, but the entire team backs each other. This is a good sign. We are number one in Tests and now we have become number one in ODIs as well. Though we are not number one in T20s, our aim will always remain to become number one across all formats," he emphasised.

Rahane was speaking after cleaning a street near the Mumbai Cricket Association's Bandra Kurla Complex centre as part of the cleanliness campaign to mark the 148th birth anniversary of 'Father of the Nation' Mahatma Gandhi.

India are slated to play three-match T20I series against Australia, beginning October 7 in Ranchi.(ANI)