Rajasthan Royals (RR) clinched a three-wicket victory in a thrilling encounter against the Delhi Daredevils (DD) on Sunday. Ajinkya Rahane was the man who anchored the innings at one end and shaped the chase along with youngster Deepak Hooda for RR. Hooda was later adjudged the man of the match for his blistering knock of 54 runs from just 25 balls.
Delhi set the Royals a target of 185 and RR had to hold their nerve. However, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals, and it was Rahane who stood strong right from the start, allowing Hooda to go for the big shots at the other end. Rahane's innings of 47 runs from 39 balls had three sixes and two fours in it, while he also maintained a healthy strike rate of 120.51.
Rahane feels international success helped him gain confidence. "I have gained confidence from the way I have played over the last couple of years, the way I followed certain processes and the way I have conducted myself," told Rahane to the official IPL website.
He also tries to remain humble on and off the field. Starting from scratch in every match is what he believes is the key. "When your confidence is high you can definitely dominate," Rahane added.
"If you take a partnership a bit further, then it is easy for the batsmen who are set, to play on, rather than new batsmen coming in and playing shots.
"So, I think the plan for me to play as long as possible was a success and then Deepak continued playing his shots from the other end."
Rahane also felt that playing the two leg spinners Amit Mishra and Imran Tahir was not easy on the Feroz Shah Kotla wicket, which slowed down towards the latter half of the match. According to him, one should respect the good ball and look to put the bad ones away.
As the Royals were chasing down a steep target, Rahane was well aware of the fact that playing the pacers would be easy on the Kotla wicket, and therefore he did not take too many risks with the spinners.
"Both the leg-spinners are experienced players and both bowled very well," he said. "It is important to respect the good ball.
"When you play with respect you get the odd boundary and the required runs keep coming. They bowled very well and it was important to treat them with respect."
He also went on to praise Hooda's performance, saying he is an important asset for the Royals. "He has definitely improved his game since last year and the confidence with which he is playing is good," said the India batting star. "He had a good domestic season and he bats confidently."