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India have confidence in Dhawan and Pujara, says Rahane

  • Published at 12:06 pm July 31st, 2018
shikhar_dhawan_india
India's Shikhar Dhawan during nets at Edgbaston on Monday Reuters

India's batsmen face a test of character when they take on hosts England in their five-match Test series

India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane believes Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara's class will come to the surface when the Test series with England begins on Wednesday.

Both Dhawan and Pujara have struggled for runs ahead of the five-Test series. The former made a pair against Essex whilst Pujara's decision to get some regular County Championship matches under his belt has yielded an average of just 14.33 from 12 innings for Yorkshire.   

Rahane says he would not be concerned for the health of the Indian batting order if one or both are selected for the Test at Edgbaston.

"We are not worried at all, because both are really quality batsmen," said the 30-year-old.

"It just takes one good innings to get into your rhythm. We all back them."

Rahane, who stood in for Virat Kohli as captain when India played Test debutants Afghanistan last month, said each batsman should play to their own strengths and not chop and change their style.

"As a batting unit, I feel that challenging yourself and backing your own game -- rather than copying someone else -- is important," he said. "If you're set here, you should really make it count.

"I feel that in terms of skill, both teams are on a par. It will be a test of our mind and character here."

Rahane has racked up nine centuries in 45 Tests since making his debut in 2013, and is on his third tour of England. 

He accepts there is a difference in the conditions compared to India but adds there is no point in thinking too hard about them.  

"Playing in England is always a challenge... (but) if you think about the result you put pressure on yourself," he said.

"This time we just want to express ourselves.

"Personally I enjoy those challenges, playing abroad. 

"You know here in England the ball does a bit, in Australia there's bounce, again in New Zealand the ball does a bit... I'm really looking forward to this series."