NEW DELHI: He has been in the reckoning for the past couple of years and Ajinkya Rahane was not surprised that he was called up on Monday to replace Virender Sehwag in the Indian squad for the upcoming ODI series in England.
"I can't express my feelings in words. I got a call from BCCI office in Chennai informing me about my selection. I always knew that my chance would come sooner or later as I had been performing consistently at the domestic level," Rahane said from Mumbai.
Having scored 4,673 first-class runs at a staggering average of above 67, Rahane said that he never got frustrated even as he missed the selection bus on a number of occasions.Rahane and Varun Aaron replace Sehwag, Ishant in ODI squad
"The selection was never in my hands. My job was to perform and I have always tried to do that. I was confident that I would get a call after a successful Emerging Tour in Australia where I got two centuries in the longer version," the 24-year-old said.
Although he has been batting at number three for Mumbai, Rahane feels that it would not be an impediment if he has to adjust to an unfamiliar role of an opener.
"If you want to be successful at the highest level, one should be ready to bat at any slot as per team management's wish. My job is to be ready for any opportunity that comes my way and grab it with both hands," Rahane said.
Ask how felt about replacing Virender Sehwag, Rahane said, "You can't replace a world class player like Virubhai. My job is to perform to the best of my potential and give my 110 percent. I have played in England last year for India 'A' and I am a bit aware about the conditions there."
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The stylish right-hander who played for Rajasthan Royals in the last edition if IPL did not forget to thank former Mumbai coach Praveen Amre and skipper Wasim Jaffer for their constant support in shaping his career.
"Apart from my family, Amre sir, Wasim bhai and Ramesh Powar have been very supportive while I played for Mumbai. Also my first coach Mr Khatu, former Mumbai player Sanjay Patil has also helped me in shaping up my dream," said Rahane.