India vice-captain, Ajinkya Rahane has opened up about the partnership he has struck up with captain Virat Kohli, stressing that trust is the cornerstone of their winning relationship.
Rahane and Kohli form the spine of an immensely talented Indian top order, and the 28-year-old has revealed what makes their combination so succesful.
The right hander told BCCI.tv about the parternship, saying: "As we continued to play together we understood and got an idea of each other's game and we have both been enjoying batting with each other.
"Running between the wickets and communication is very important, but how you do it also matters. You can communicate in various ways but positivity and having intent is very important when you are playing in the middle."
A prime example of intent was the partnership he shared with Kohli against South Africa in Durban when the pair faced a fired up Dale Steyn: "Yes, that partnership with Virat in Durban – a Dale Steyn delivery had hit me on the helmet and I didn't react, I didn't want to, so Virat came and told me 'attack kar isko' (attack him).
"When your partner gives you a positive response (it boosts your confidence and) I too responded positively saying yes, I am going to attack. That attitude is inside both of us from the beginning,"
Kohli and Rahane have contrasting styles which the latter believes has a lot to do with how succesful they are, saying: "He is aggressive and I am calm so that combination works for us. In a way I too am aggressive but I don't show it; he is different.
"Each individual is different and that benefits both of us in different ways.
"When I need to be aggressive he boosts me and when he needs to cool down then I am able to probably help him. During practice also we keep talking to each other, discussing what should be the approach and how to bat in different situations. To enjoy that and communicate is very important,"
The pair have shared three century partenrships in Test cricket and Rahane believes this is down to the trust they share on and off the field: "It is important that you trust your partner.
"Virat reads the bowler well and I feel that whether it is Virat or someone else if you have trust in your partner then you can enjoy the partnership and it's because of that trust that we began enjoying each other's company.
"Not only on the field but off the field as well we continue to communicate and that trust is the factor that has helped our partnership,"
Rahane will serve as Kohli's deputy when India face the West Indies in four Tests in the Caribbean starting this July.