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Disappointed with my shot: Rahane

In-form Indian batsman rues the miscued hit to midwicket that got him out

In the first innings of the Lord’s Test, Ajinkya Rahane scored a match-winning century. When he came in to bat at the Ageas Bowl, India were in a spot of bother at 88 for 3, chasing England’s mammoth first innings total of 569.

He batted like a man in form that he is and with Rohit Sharma, steadied India’s rocking boat. However, the resilience didn’t last too long as both Mumbai lads got out in the span of five overs. Their partnership was broken at 74 runs. Both lost their wickets to England’s part-time off-spinner, Moeen Ali, looking for a big shot.

Rahane, who got holed out at midwicket on 54, trying to smash a rank long hop from Ali, rued the shot he played. “I was very disappointed with the way I got out,” Rahane said at the end of the third day’s play. “We needed one big partnership and Rohit and I were batting so well.

Unfortunately both of us got out in quick succession.”

Rahane refuted any claims of him losing his focus resulting in the rash shot. “I was concentrating really well and my focus was 100 per cent. It was just a miscue or probably a bad shot. I just have to learn from this and bat well in the second innings.”

When asked if there was a pattern to their dismissals, whether they had planned to attack Ali, Rahane replied in the negative. “There was no plan to hit Moeen as such. Rohit and I just decided to play each ball as it comes – if there was a loose ball, hit it.

“Any bowler can get you out. That is the greatness of this game,” he said.

England bowlers chipped away with wickets at regular intervals and never quite allowed two batsmen to settle down and form a partnership. Rahane said they beat the Indians in patience. “The England bowlers bowled really well today. They bowled very patiently and it was tough to score runs fluently.”

With eight wickets down and still trailing England by 246 runs, India are in a precarious position with two days left in the Test. However, Rahane is hopeful that the pair of MS Dhoni and Mohammad Shami will put up a fight and extend the Indian innings significantly.

“Dhoni bhai and Shami are batting now and Shami showed what he is capable with the bat in the first Test,” Rahane said. “We still have two more days to go and it will be a good game if we get a good partnership by the currently unbeaten batsmen.”

He also felt that the first session on Day four will have a huge impact on the Test. “The wicket was good earlier on but as the ball got older, it became two-paced.

“But now they have the second new ball and while it does come on well on the bat, there is a bit of movement as well. So, the first session will be crucial. The more time we spend batting, the better it will be for us.”

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Stats Highlights: Eng vs India, 3rd Test - Day 3

MS Dhoni surpasses Lara after hitting most sixes as captain in Test cricket

Ajinkya Rahane made his fifth fifty-plus score in seventh Test outside India.

Rahane has now aggregated 589 runs in his first seven Tests outside India. Only four Indians – Sunil Gavaskar (918), Gautam Gambhir (831), Sandeep Patil (626) and Rahul Dravid (615)- have scored more runs than Rahane in first seven away Tests.

Moeen Ali – with wickets of Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane- took his series-tally to 9. Only James Anderson (12) and Stuart Broad (10) have taken more wickets than Moeen in the series for England.

MS Dhoni’s six off Moeen Ali gave him a world record. He has now hit more sixes than any other captain in Test cricket. Dhoni went past West Indian Brian Lara’s tally of 49 sixes. The accompanying table lists captains hitting most sixes in Test cricket:

6s

Captain

Inns

50

MS Dhoni (Ind)

87

49

Brian Lara (WI)

85

48

Clive Lloyd (WI)

111

46

Viv Richards (WI)

74

37

Ricky Ponting (Aus)

140

34

Chris Gayle (WI)

34

33

Imran Khan (Pak)

64

32

Darren Sammy (WI)

48

30

Hansie Cronje (SA)

84


MS Dhoni (50*) on 22, became India’s leading run-scoring wicketkeeper in England, surpassing Farokh Engineer’s tally of 563 runs.

Dhoni has now made 10 fifties against England – most by an Indian wicketkeeper against England. He went ahead of Farokh Engineer’s tally of nine scores of fifty or more.

Dhoni’s 10 fifties against England are the most by a batsman against a particular side without reaching three-figure mark. Dhoni equalled South Africa’s Dave Nourse’s record (also against England!). Others with most fifties against an opponent without ever scoring a hundred: South Africa’s Jock Cameron (9 vs England), New Zealand’s Bevan Congdon (9 vs India) and Brendon McCullum (9 vs England).

Bhuvneshwar Kumar failed with the bat for the first time in the series. He, however, now holds the Test record of facing most balls (477) in a series by a number 9 batsman. Pakistan’s Saqlain Mushtaq had faced 447 balls against Zimbabwe in 1996-97 while scoring 94 runs. Bhuvneshwar has scored 228.