India v England: Ajinkya Rahane ‘fully prepared’ for first Test

Nottingham [UK]: India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is “fully prepared” for the first Test against England which gets underway on Wednesday.
India and England will lock horns in a five-match Test series beginning August 4 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. The series will mark the start of the second cycle of the World Test Championship. Rahane had missed the warm-up game against County Select XI but the right-handed batsman has practised for the upcoming games and is looking forward to the Test match.
“I had a small niggle but I’m fully fit now. Whatever the physios and trainers asked me to do, I completed that in the training sessions. I’m looking forward to the Test match. I’m fully prepared.”
“Preparation has been really good so far for me. Even though I didn’t play the warm-up game, I was practising on the sidelines. I had a couple of good practice sessions. Completely ready and fit to play,” Rahane said while replying to a query from ANI.
Opening batsman Shubman Gill has been ruled out of the England Test series but Rahane doesn’t see Cheteshwar Pujara moving up the order.
“Pujara is our No 3. Pujara has been really solid for us as a No 3 batsman, so he will continue batting at that position. But as an opening pair, obviously, the captain, coach and the management will decide the combination,” said Rahane.
When asked about the challenge of playing inside bio-bubble, Rahane said,” I think it’s all about understanding the player’s headspace. You have to understand what the player is going through in that difficult moment. So we respect the decision, whatever he did, it was his call.
“But yes, it is tough, it is challenging as a player as a team to be in the bio-bubble continuously and give your best all the time takes a lot,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed that opening batsman Mayank Agarwal has been ruled of the first Test against England.
“Opening batsman Mayank Agarwal was hit on the helmet while batting during India’s nets session at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Monday,” BCCI said in a statement.
“The BCCI Medical Team assessed him, and a concussion test was conducted. He has shown signs of concussion and is ruled out of the opening Test against England,” it added.
BCCI also said the 30-year-old batsman is stable and will remain under close medical observation.

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