Mumbai: Under pressure after two back-to-back failures, India's opening batsman Ajinkya Rahane said he learnt from his mistakes to come good in the third game of the five-match ODI series against England in Mohali.
"My performances in the first two matches were bad and I was a little upset. I did not want to repeat the same mistakes. I had spoken to Mahi (captain M S Dhoni) and the coach (Duncan Fletcher) and they told me to play my natural game that had got me runs in the recent past," said Rahane on the eve of the fourth ODI here.
Rahane notched up a man-of-the-match winning knock of 91 from 106 balls and also put on a stand of 79 runs with Parthiv Patel to lay the foundation for India's successful run-chase of 299 runs which gave the hosts an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.
"Mahi bhai told me to back myself. I wanted to give myself some time to settle down. I knew I could play my shots later. I was obviously disappointed at not getting a century but after making 91 if your team wins, it gives you more satisfaction.
"While chasing a big total there is some pressure but a little pressure is good as it helps you concentrate better," said the 23-year-old from Mumbai, who will be playing in front of his home crowd at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
Rahane said it is going to be a huge occasion for him to play at Wankhede as part of the world champion team, which achieved the great feat of lifting the coveted World Cup at this ground on April 2.
"It was a proud moment. The World Cup final (against Sri Lanka) was held here and we had won here. It's good to represent a world champion team. It's my home ground and it's a big moment for me," Rahane, who has scored over 4000 runs in domestic cricket in four seasons, said.
Rahane said his four-year stint in domestic first-class cricket as well as his batting success in Australia in the Emerging Players' tournament had given him lot of confidence ahead of being selected for the Indian ODI squad for the tour of England.
"I had played 48 first-class games before going to Australia for the Emerging Players' tournament. Scoring runs there gave me a lot of confidence. Scoring runs in domestic cricket also gave me a lot of confidence," he said.
Asked about his place in the team once regular openers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag return from their injury lay-offs, Rahane said at the moment he wanted to think only about the remaining two ODIs and the one-off T20 game.
"They are big players. I have two matches and one T20 International and I want to do well in those matches," he said, adding, he was not thinking about being selected for the Test matches against the West Indies, to be held next month.
Asked about the difference between the team's winless show in England and here, Rahane said that India had played well there as well (in ODIs) but the results did not go in their favour.
"We did well in England too, but there are times in cricket when results don't go your way even when you are doing well. We know the conditions here and have taken advantage of that. Mahi has done well to keep the team together. We are backing each other. The youngsters have done well and the team management and the seniors have been very helpful," he said.
On whether the series was being played in the right spirit, he said, "yes" but refused to elaborate further.
"It's very difficult to give reasons."
Rahane also said that the Indian squad was not looking too far ahead for a clean sweep but taking it match by match.
"We are looking towards tomorrow's game but not at 5-0 scoreline. We are 3-0 up but have to start afresh. We are taking one game at a time," he insisted.