India star batsman and newly-appointed Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane Tuesday said that the added responsibility of being the deputy to skipper Virat Kohli will bring out the best in him as a player during the Test tour of the West Indies starting next month.
“It is a good responsibility as a vice-captain and I love facing challenges and love taking responsibility, so it’s not pressure, not added pressure, but I think responsibility will bring best out of me,” Rahane told reporters ahead of India’s four-match Test tour to the Caribbean.
“I really learnt a lot as a captain in Zimbabwe (from 2015 ODI tour) from my teammates, from opponents, and as a captain you know how to back your players, support your players, whatever happens as a captain, you have to take all the responsibility and I really learnt from that tour,” he added.
The West Indies tour will start with a two-day practice match from 9 July in St. Kitts followed by a three-day warm-up match from 14 July at the same venue.
The first Test will begin from 21 July at the Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua and Barbuda, and the second from 30 July at the Sabina Park in Jamaica.
The newly named Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium at St. Lucia will host the third Test from 9 August while the final match will be played at the Queen’s Park Oval from 18 August in Trinidad and Tobago.
“This is actually my second time to West Indies, first time I was with India A team, but with the Indian team it is my first time and I am really excited about this tour. I’m looking forward and I have prepared myself really well,” the 28-year-old said.
“I am sure it will be challenging because West Indies is a decent team. We will give respect to them and it is important to start well in the series,” the right-handed batsman added.
The Kohli-led team is expected to depart for the Caribbean on 6 July with newly-appointed head coach Anil Kumble.