Mumbai: Comparing the captaincy styles of Australian great Shane Warne and Indian legend Rahul Dravid, young batsman Ajinkya Rahane Tuesday said that while the former used to spring surprises, the latter keeps everything simple, but both were good leaders.
"Shane Warne used to take some instinctive decisions and surprise us by doing something which we had never expected. Rahul Dravid is keeping everything as simple as he can. Both are good captains and excellent players," said Rahane ahead of his team Rajasthan Royals' first IPL away game of the season against Mumbai Indians on Wednesday.
For Rahane the game at the Wankhede Stadium is a home tie as he represents Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy and said that it was a special moment to play in his familiar environs. "Playing at the Wankhede Stadium is always a special moment for me. I started my cricket career here and have played a lot of matches here," he told reporters.
Table-toppers Rajasthan are looking to maintain their early momentum going against MI and a victory here would widen the gap over the rest of the field. "We know Mumbai Indians are a very strong team. They had scored a good victory in the last game. It's a very important game for us," said the 23-year-old, who is trying to cement his place in the Indian team, having played 11 ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals in his fledgling career so far.
Rahane said it has been a splendid team effort that has helped the Jaipur franchise, IPL champions in 2008, win their first two games against Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders on April 6 and 8. "We have had a good team effort in both our earlier games. All had contributed in the first game. In the second match [Brad] Hodge and Ashok [Menaria] batted well. In between Shrivats [Goswami] and Hodge had a good partnership and at the end Owais Shah contributed important runs to help us reach the 160-mark. And in bowling, all of them did well. We have got the early momentum and would try and keep out consistency intact and keep it as simple as possible."
Rahane had slammed a brilliant 98 in the opening game against Punjab with 16 fours and a six but is wary of taking his place for granted. "This year I have had a good start. But I never take my place in the team for granted. Even now I am not saying I will be playing [picked for] all the matches. Am taking it game by game and focusing to be consistently performing. Performance in IPL is noticed all over the world. I have got the opportunity from Rajasthan. Want to maintain my consistency," he said.
Though disappointed at missing his century narrowly in the opening game, Rahane said it would not have mattered much even if he had got a ton and the team had lost. "There was disappointment in missing the century when I made 98. But like I have said before the more important thing is we won, and it was also our first tie. If I had made a hundred and the team had lost, the 100 would not have had much value. After I got out at 98 Kevon Cooper added 10 runs in the last two balls. I am happy we won."
Opening the innings with one of his batting idols, Dravid, was a good experience for the Mumbai-born youngster. "I have always been following Dravid and now have got a chance to bat with him. It's always in my mind to notice his approach to batting. In between overs we keep talking about what should be done, what shots to play. We want to keep it simple," he said.