In an era dominated by T20 and outrageous shot-selection, Ajinkya Rahane has stood firm and insisted that he would never change his copybook style. He has met with enormous success at the Test level, thanks to his aptitude for runs and ability to take on the best fast bowling attack across the world.
In a recent interview with Hindustan Times, newly appointed Indian Test Vice-Captain revealed his childhood story. He told that in his earlier days he used to wake up at 4 am to catch up the Dombivli Fast to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus for net practice at Azad Maidan.
The Mumbaikar said, “Being vice-captain of India is a really proud moment. From Dombivli to CST or Shivaji Park to Sabina Park (in Jamaica), the journey has been good but tough. There were challenges along the way but I like taking them on.”
Rahane has grown up in a modest family with an engineer father and a homemaker mother. During his childhood, he could not afford an auto-rickshaw to and from the cricket ground.
He said, “When I was very young, I could not even lift my kitbag. So my mother (Sujata Rahane) picked it up in one hand and held my younger brother Shashank in the other and the two of us walked to the nets. At times we ended up walking for 10 kilometers under the harsh sun. My mother then sat outside for three hours till I finished practice and then we walked back.”
Since the Indian right-handed batsman was very shy as a kid, so his father Madhukar Rahane joined him for karate classes. “I got my black belt First Dan at the age of 12 and I was the youngest in my training centre. I practiced karate till a few years ago and it has helped enhance my flexibility, stamina and mental toughness,” said Rahane. “Karate taught me to channel my aggression. During a martial arts exam, I once broke 50 bricks with my hands. Another time, 20 sugarcanes bound together were broken on my back and I smashed more than 15 tiles with my head”, he added.
It’s hard to believe but Jinx is aggressive as well. “I am aggressive from the inside. When I am batting on the crease, I am the boss. I want to dominate the quickest bowlers in the world, whether it is Dale Steyn in Durban, Mitchell Johnson in Melbourne or James Anderson at the Lord’s.” said Rahane.