Team India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane believes that the touring Indian batsmen face a stern test of character as they prepare to lock horns with hosts England in the five-match Test series that begins at Edgbaston on Wednesday. MS Dhoni's men were beaten 3-1 in the Test series when they toured England four years ago as the team struggled for consistency in all departments. However, Rahane stressed that the current squad is capable of making things difficult for the home team this time around as both the units are on par as far as skill sets are concerned. "In terms of skill, both teams are on par. It will be a test of our mind and character here," Rahane told cricket.com.au.
The 30-year-old is a perfect example of how the Indian bench strength has grown in four years. In 2014, Rahane was just five Tests old, still, he managed to apply himself well in the foreign conditions with a century and a couple of fifties.
Rahane, who has played 45 Tests till date, has scored nine hundreds and has led India in Virat Kohli's absence, most recently against Afghanistan last month.
"We want to play good cricket rather than think about the result. If you (think about the result) you put pressure on yourself ... it's all about mindset, especially playing in England, and how quickly you adjust and handle the situation."
Rahane said the key to succeeding in the longest format would be to play with patience and respect the conditions.
"Patience is the key in England," he said. "It also depends on the weather: if it's sunny, it's very good to bat. If it is cloudy it is good for the bowlers.
"If the weather changes, it is important for the set batsman to hold back, respect the bowler and the conditions. If you are really set here, you should make it count."
India lost the One-day International (ODI) series 2-1 while they won the Twenty20 International (T20I) competition by the same margin, but the white-ball contests were just a sneak peek to what promises to be an absolutely grueling five-match Test series.