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.
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.”