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India vs West Indies: Prithvi Shaw should bat just like he does for Mumbai in Ranji Trophy, says Ajinkya Rahane

Rajkot: He could be in line for a Test debut against West Indies but Prithvi Shaw shouldn’t curb his attacking style of batsmanship provided he gets the nod, feels India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. “I am happy for Shaw. I have seen him since his young days, we used to practice together, he is an attacking opener and done well for India A and got the reward,” he said.

Rahane however didn’t commit on who among Prithvi and Mayank Agarwal will partner KL Rahul in the opening Test in Rajkot, starting October 4. “Personally we don’t know the combination what we are going to play. But there is no pressure, it is an opportunity for every individual to express ourselves. I wish him good luck and I am sure he will do well. I just want him to play as he has been doing for Mumbai and India A and I think he will be fine,” Rahane said.

“It is a good opportunity particularly for youngsters like Prithivi, Mayank and Siraj as they have all done well in domestic cricket. So as a batsman they can score runs, as a bowler they can pick wickets. It is all about going out there and giving your best without thinking much about future,” he added.

After a disappointing outing in England, Rahane lead Mumbai to victories over Baroda, Karnataka and Railways in the Vijay Hazare Trophy last month and he said it provided him good match practice ahead of the West Indies series. “After coming back from England, I was just looking to do well for Mumbai at that point of time and get some match practice (although it was white ball cricket) ahead of the West Indies series. Vijay Hazare was a good match practice for me,” said Rahane.

“I always believe whether it is a domestic, international or practice match, it brings a different pressure and I think it helped me to prepare. I am really confident and looking forward to do well and keep contributing towards my team.”  India will need to quickly adapt to the different yet familiar home conditions at home to dominate the two-Test series against West Indies, feels the Indian vice-captain.

India had failed to bring their best in English conditions, losing the five-Test series 1-4 last month. “Here we have to see how the wicket behaves, it is hot here, so we have to adapt to the conditions quickly during the practice sessions,” Rahane said.

“We know the Indian conditions and we know how to go about our job and what shots to play here. England was different, so we will have to quickly mentally switch. “Each and every match is equally important and we are just looking to play to our standards, rather than thinking about our opponents. It is important to start off well, we have two practice sessions before the Test match starts,” he added.

The 30-year-old Mumbaikar said the focus of the team is to improve its own game without thinking about their opponents. “It was a great achievement to win Asia Cup and players, who got an opportunity there did well, but this is a new series and we can’t take them lightly. We have to focus to improve our own game,” said Rahane.

“No matter whom we play, whether it is Australia, England or West Indies, it is important to improve our own standard. Our goal will be to play some good cricket, definitely to dominate from the first match and improvement as a batsman, as a bowler and as a team, that would be the focus.”

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