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Rahane calls for patience and intent from batsmen

Indian batsman says shot selection will be crucial if they are to save the Test

By Shirin Sadikot in
With a lead of 363 at stumps on day-four, Australia are in a truly dominating position in the first Test at the Adelaide Oval. If Michael Clarke declares the innings at the overnight score – the probability of which looks high – India will have to bat out 98 overs on the fifth day pitch, against the fiery Mitchell Johnson and company and Nathan Lyon, who proved to be their nemesis in the first innings with five wickets.

Indian batsman, Ajinkya Rahane, said patience, intent and application will be key if they are to salvage the Test match from the current position.

“We will have to apply our minds. We will have to come in with a strong mindset and it will be all about patience,” Rahane said. “Our intent will be very crucial too. We will have to go in with the same intent that we showed in the first innings. We will have to be careful with our shot selection. If we do all these things, I am confident that we will do well.”

The Indians, who are renowned world over as the best players of spin bowling, have struggled to handle the opposition tweakers in their last few Tests overseas. In England it was Moeen Ali who became their bane and in the first innings of this Test, Lyon had them in utmost struggle as he finished with 5 for 138.

Rahane’s was one of them. The ball jumped into him after hitting the rough, brushed his glove and flew to Shane Watson in the slip. Rahane was left stunned. Of his dismissal, he said, “It was an unplayable delivery but I cannot keep thinking about it. I have to look ahead.” As for India’s recent struggle against spinners overseas, he said they are working on it in the nets.

A major reason for Lyon’s success was how brilliantly he exploited the footmarks created by the Indian fast bowlers, something that India’s leg-spinner, Karn Sharma failed to do. Rahane put it down to the debutant’s lack of experience and the Australian counterattack against him.

“Lyon is an experienced bowler and he used the conditions very well,” he said. “Karn, given this is his first Test match, bowled well but the Australian batsmen used their feet nicely against him. There is no point blaming Karn because he did give his hundred per cent but didn’t get too many wickets.”