Kolkata, June 7 (IANS) Even as he hailed Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli for his aggression, batsman Ajinkya Rahane on Sunday credited former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for making the youngsters in the team to believe in themselves.
“Playing under Dhoni, we youngsters learnt a lot, he gave us massive confidence – be it Tests, ODIs or T20s. He actually taught us how to believe in ourselves and how to react to each and every situation,” said Rahane, who made his Test debut under Dhoni in 2013 against Australia.
“Everyone has learnt a lot under Dhoni and he is still the captain in ODIs. So we are really happy for that,” he said about Dhoni who retired from Test cricket during India’s tour to Australia.
Talking to media persons on the eve of the team’s departure for Bangladesh, Rahane also praised new Test skipper Virat Kohli.
“Virat is really aggressive on the field, doesn’t matter whether the opponents are Australia, England or Bangladesh. He gives confidence to each and every individual and we really respect him as a captain,” said Rahane.
India will leave for Bangladesh on Monday where they play a one-off Test match, beginning June 10, followed by a three-match One-Day International (ODI) series.
Attributing India’s recent poor overseas performance to the side’s inexperience, Rahane exuded confidence of doing well in the Bangladesh series.
“The team that travelled to New Zealand, South Africa, and England was a young unit and it is very hard to compare that with the current because we have now an experienced side. During the (recent) Australia series we played aggressively and wanted to win each and every match and we will carry this attitude.”
“We are now an experienced side and we know the conditions well. So from here on we will be doing well,” added Rahane.
Talking about himself, Rahane said he was more focused on improving as a batsman with every match, rather than on setting and achieving individual goals.
Refusing to comment on the absence of a head coach, Rahane praised former coach Duncan Fletcher for helping him improve as a batsman.
“Duncan was an experienced coach and did a fantastic job. He taught us many minute things about cricket and as a unit, he kept us together. His inputs really helped me improve my batting,” said Rahane.
He also expressed happiness over former great Rahul Dravid becoming the coach of the India ‘A’ and Under-19 teams coach.
“It’s a really good thing that Rahul Dravid is at the helm of India A and Under 19 teams. I am sure in coming years, Indian team will have players nurtured by him. Players will learn a lot from Rahul,” added Rahane.