Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane made his debut in 2013 during the home series against Australia. Rahane has since been one of India's mainstays in the longest format, cementing his spot at the fifth place in the Test side.
For Rahane, his debut wasn't a successful one with the bat. He had scores of 7 and 1 in the two innings during the Ferozeshah Kotla Test, which was also the final match of the series. He may have eventually missed Sachin Tendulkar's farewell series later in the same year, but Rahane cherishes the time when he played with India's batting legend during his debut.
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Tendulkar was at the other end when Rahane walked out to bat for the first time in his Test career. It was the only time when the Indian middle-order batsman shared the crease with Tendulkar in Tests. Rahane now recalls the experience of batting with him.
"I didn’t know how to react, I was feeling mixed emotions. It was, obviously, a special moment for me, but I was a bit feeling nervousness and excitement as well,” Rahane told Deep Das Gupta during a conversation for ESPNCricinfo.
He further recalled what Tendulkar said to him to calm him down. (ALSO READ: Rohit or Warner? Jason Roy reveals his choice for opening partner)
“When I went down to bat, Sachin paaji was on the other side. He told me that ‘as a player, you want to do well on debut, and every game. But you need to forget all of this at this moment. Just enjoy the moment’. He gave me this advice. My debut match was not that great, but it was memorable,” said the 32-year-old.
Talking about adjusting to middle-order, Rahane said that it was challenging as he had been an opening batsman.
"To bat at the middle-order was a bit challenging. I bat at no. 6 position (no. 5 position, actually), and it was challenging. When you are batting at no. 6 in India, you know the ball gets old, and the fielders are standing backwards," said Rahane.
“When you are someone who has opened all your life, then I definitely needed to make an adjustment. But at the time, how difficult is the situation did not even go through my head at the time. I was just enjoy my batting at the time. I am playing for India and I am going to do it for my country. That was all I had in my mind,” the batsman said.