India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane feels facing England’s premier paceman James Anderson in his own backyard is the most challenging task for any batsmen. Anderson, who is hailed as the best swing bowler in the world at the present moment, is the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket among fast bowlers. Only spin legends Anil Kumble (619), Shane Warne (708) and Muttiah Muralitharan (800) have more Test wickets than Anderson (584). Also Read - Jimmy Anderson Triggers Twitter War Between Indian Fans and Barmy Army
On the other side, Rahane is widely seen as India’s best bet in overseas conditions. While insisting that every bowler in international cricket is challenging, facing Anderson in English conditions was the toughest for the 31-year-old right-hander by his own admission. Also Read - BCCI to Virat Kohli-Led India Team: Consider Yourself Out of WTC Final, England Tour if You Test Covid-19 Positive in Mumbai
“(But) especially talking about one particular bowler – James Anderson in England is really challenging. He knows the conditions well. He (Anderson) is the one,” said Rahane on an Instachat live chat orgainsed by his employer ‘Indian Oil’ on Tuesday. Also Read - Arzan Nagwaswalla Names Zaheer Khan As His 'Bowling Idol And Inspiration'; Reveals About His Learnings From Jasprit Bumrah at Mumbai Indians Camp
Rahane, who has amassed over 4000 runs in Test cricket and has a century in England, the West Indies apart from India, emphasized on the need to be mentally fit during the coronavirus-forced lockdown period.
“At this point of time, it is important to be positive mentally. Mentally, I’m visualising my cricketing stuff, batting. As an international athlete, cricketer, it is important to be mentally fit,” said Rahane, who revealed that he is a Black belt holder judoka.
Sporting activities across the globe, including cricket has come to a grinding halt because of the pandemic. Even this year’s cash-rich Indian Premier League has been postponed indefinitely due to the deadly disease, which has claimed nearly 1,78,000 lives globally and more than 640 in India.
Even though he is disturbed by the suffering of people, Rahane looked at the positive side of the lockdown.
“First of all, definitely this is a sad thing, which is happening. But, looking at the positive side, I’m getting time to spend with my daughter and family. My daughter is six-and-a-half months old, I’m lucky to be with her,” the right-handed batsman said.
He also said that batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and tennis ace Roger Federer are his role models and meeting the multiple-time Grand Slam champion at the 2015 Australian Open was a fanboy moment for him.