Regarded as one of the mainstays of the Indian batting order especially in overseas Tests Ajinkya Rahane’s form was a thing of concern for both India and for the man himself coming into the series against Sri Lanka but he has put all those to rest after scoring his 1st Test century since October 2016. His last Test century came against the Kiwis when the stylish right hander smashed a brilliant 188.
The closest he got to scoring a century was against Bangladesh at home when he scored 82 in Hyderabad. Since then he got only two half centuries in 10 innings and his wait for the three figure mark finally came to an end in Colombo. He looked in sublime touch at the SSC Ground. He started off with a cautious approach but later accelerated and stepped down to the spinners on regular intervals. His innings finally came to an end on 132, an innings which contained 14 fours.
“It was important for me to get this hundred, but I was confident. Even throughout that time when I was not getting a hundred for 9-10 Tests, I was confident about myself,” he said. “I knew that if I get in I would get a big one. It was all about thinking positive even throughout that period when I was not getting to three figures. I was batting well in the West Indies as well so wanted to carry that form forward coming to Sri Lanka. I batted well in the first innings at Galle and decided that if I play positively I will convert it to a big one,” Rahane was quoted as saying by the bcci.tv.
Rahane conceded that it was a conscious effort not to play out maiden overs during his marathon 217 runs partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara.
“My mindset was completely blank coming into this innings. I wanted to take my time initially but later on, Pujara and myself thought if we dominate and change the momentum, they will be on the backfoot straightaway, and that’s what happened. I was talking to Virat in the dressing-room before Lunch that if we get a 150-200 partnership, one big partnership, they will be on the back foot and that’s what actually happened, Pujara and myself got that partnership. The communication between us was that we hardly played any maiden overs so that we could put pressure on them.”
Rahane said that his 9th Test century was one of his best against the spinners.
“My focus was to dominate. It is all about the mindset coming into this game. I was visualising even in the dressing room and also in my room, about what are the important, good shots on this pitch and how I am going to dominate their spinners. We are talking about scoring briskly and the batsmen have done that till now. This was one of my best innings when it came to playing against spinners,” the stylish right-hander concluded.
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