Mumbai - Ajinkya Rahane admits he was stunned to be named India captain for
their upcoming Zimbabwe series, after being dropped just a week earlier, and
while he plans to draw inspiration from past skippers he also wants to make his
own mark on the team.
Rahane, who averages a tad over 30 in one-day internationals, played the
first of India's three-match series against Bangladesh at Mirpur and scored
nine off 25 balls as they went down by 79 runs.
He was dropped for the next two matches, with regular captain Mahendra Singh
Dhoni saying the 27-year-old's batting was more suited to pitches offering more
But that did not stop India from putting Rahane in charge of a second-string
squad for this month's tour of Zimbabwe for three ODIs and two Twenty20
internationals while resting Dhoni and a host of other senior cricketers.
"The decision of naming me captain did come as a surprise because I
wasn't thinking about captaincy ever," Rahane, who has played 55 ODIs,
told the Indian cricket board's website (BCCI.TV). "I didn't know how to
react when I heard the news.
"Once the news slowly began to sink in, I became really confident of
handling this new responsibility."
The 2-1 ODI series loss was India's first to Bangladesh, and another loss
against Zimbabwe would not go down well with the country's cricket-crazy fans
despite the lack of senior players in the touring party.
Rahane, a regular in India's test side, has had the opportunity to play
under Dhoni, new Test captain Virat Kohli and also former skipper Rahul Dravid
while playing for the Rajasthan franchise in the Indian Premier League.
He said he would try to emulate different qualities from all of them.
"Firstly, playing under MS Dhoni I would observe how he would be calm
on the field. He has a very peculiar and calm way of handling situations,"
the Mumbai batsman added. "I would like to take that quality from him.
"What I would like to take from Virat Kohli would be controlled
aggression. You can see that quality in his batting and his captaincy.
"And finally, Rahul Bhai is someone who likes to keep things really
simple on the field, which I got to know while playing under him with the
"Having said that, I have my own set of ideas and I know what I have to
do on the field."