In advance of the starting of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 season, Rajasthan Royals skipper Ajinkya Rahane said that he does not intend to pressurise himself with the burden of proving himself worth for the debatable No. 4 in India's World Cup squad through his performance in the league. India's No. 4 spot is still up for grabs with none of the 11 players tried since Champions Trophy 2017 managing to stake a claim. But earlier in the day, former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly reckoned that India would find their No. 4 answer through IPL 2019.
It was only a few days back that Rahane had openly asked for more chances for him in the limited-overs format. It was back in 2018 in the series against South Africa that he had donned the Indian blue in the ODI series after which captain Virat Kohli had expressed the Test deputy as his No. 4 prospect for World Cup. But following a series of four poor scores in the same series, Rahane was dropped from the Indian ODI team. The right-hander has not appeared in the format ever since.
"As a batsman, I am aggressive but, naturally, I am quite shy," Rahane had told the Hindu back on February 27 this year. "I prefer to let my bat speak but sometimes it's important to speak the truth. I have always believed the team comes first and respected the management and the selectors' decision. I will keep on do that."The point is that if as a player I have always bet the team, then I deserve chances more consistently. That's the least I am asking."
Rahane has played 90 ODIs for India averaging over 35 with a strike rate of 78.63. In the series against South Africa last January, he had recorded almost identical numbers. And in both matches he was dipped into No. 4, he scored 79 and 34 *.
However, amid talks about No. 4 and him being a possibility, Rahane expressed that he doesn't want to pressurise himself considering all the discussion and instead wants to be open for any batting position.
"I have never had complaints about my batting order and have performed anywhere I have batted. I don't wish to put any pressure on myself by thinking about the No 4 spot in the Indian team. I understand that batting order relies on a number of things. For India, I prepare to bat at any position," Rahane said during a media conference organised by Rajasthan Royals.