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Ajinkya Rahane reveals the secret to his cricketing success

INDIA'S LATEST NO.3 Test batsman has created quite a stir in the cricketing fraternity with his performance in the recent Test series against Sri Lanka. Not only did he become a world-record holder for the most catches in a Test, but also scored a defining century in his newest batting position.

So what's the secret to the starry-eyed boy's success? The Mumbai cricketer opens up about the finer aspects of his game. 

In an exclusive interview with Mid-Day, Rahane revealed how his habit of maintaining a diary of every knock he played helped shape his path to success.

"There are a lot of things happening and you cannot remember everything. But once you write about how you were feeling or what was your mindset or intent while playing a particular knock, it helps you to understand different mindsets from innings to innings. I keep a note of every knock even if I get out for zero. If you write about only good innings then you don't understand the difference in your approach. This comes in handy during a bad patch."

Many would have thought that the century at Lord's would be the defining knock of his career. Surprisingly, Rahane feels it was his unbeaten 38 at Sydney that was the real game-changer. 

The youngster was also given a go at captaining the Indian side in Zimbabwe. Rahane says it was a good experience to lead from the front and that victory in Zimbabwe has given him plenty of confidence.

When asked about his preparations before a particular series, Rahane's answer was quite interesting.

"My preparation starts 15-20 days before the series. I start visualising about the attack I am going to face and where I am playing. I have been lucky to get enough time to prepare before all the series. I would like to give an example here: When you are well prepared for your exams, you don't worry about how the question paper is going to be. But if you have not prepared well, then you start worrying about the kind of questions that might come. Cricket is also very similar. When you prepare well, you don't worry about what will happen on the field. But when you are not prepared, you start thinking about the conditions."

How does Rahane switch off from cricket?

"Switching off from cricket is equally important. Before hitting the bed, I think about how the day went for me. After I get all my answers to the questions, I don't think about cricket after that. I read books or sometimes watch movies or listen to music to switch off as well. I ensure I go to bed with a clear mind and not many thoughts."

India will now take on the touring South Africans, who will be here on a 72-day tour. The series commences with T20 matches starting on October 2. Rahane says he's excited to play a home series after a long gap and South Africa will be a huge challenge to overcome.

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