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Dravid tips helped: Rahane

Calcutta: Rahul Dravid’s absence from the Rajasthan Royals line-up has in no way affected Ajinkya Rahane.

As he has been doing in the previous editions, Rahane continues to bat with the same fluency in IPL VII too. However, it’s the Royals mentor’s advice that has come in extremely handy, the 25-year-old stressed.

“Thanks to Rahulbhai, my approach hasn’t changed. At the beginning of the season, he told me specifically not to change my game just because my opening partner is different.

“He said ‘Don’t try to be someone else. Be yourself and bat like yourself’,” Rahane told the IPL’s official website.

Admitting that his experience in opening with Karun Nair has been a different one, Rahane said his job became easier as mentor Dravid and captain Shane Watson have specified the roles of each player in the side.

“The experience of opening with Karun has been different, but Rahulbhai and Shane have already spoken to the new guys about what their roles are in the team’s batting set-up. That makes my job easy to stick to my own game.

“If I play the first six overs off, I try to stay till the end and maintain the run-rate by cashing in on the loose balls.”

Watson, presently in charge of the Royals, is pretty similar to Dravid in many ways, Rahane opined. “Shane has been wonderful. In so many ways he is similar to Rahulbhai as captain.”