It’s been two years since he last hit a Test ton, but Ajinkya Rahane didn’t want to be “selfish” thinking about his own milestone when the need of the hour was to pull his team out of trouble. Coming in at a time when India were 25 for 3 on the opening day of the first Test against Windies, Rahane scored 81, an innings he values more than a hundred.
A century would have been a cherry on the cake, but playing as per the demands of the situation was more important.
“See, as long as I am contributing for my team is what matters. Yes, I was thinking about my hundred but the situation we were in – 25 for 3 was tricky. As I have said, I just thought if I could contribute for my team. I am not too concerned about my hundred as that will come automatically,” the 31-year-old said.
He termed his 68-run stand with KL Rahul as a ‘crucial’ one in such a tricky situation.
“At the start of our innings, the wicket was tricky. It was a bit sticky (spongy bounce) and there was sideways movement. Throughout the day, they bowled pretty well. What was important was to have a partnership going and still be positive in our intent. The partnership with Rahul was crucial in that situation. We were not thinking too far ahead. The motive was to play one ball at a time and take it on from there,” the right-hander revealed their game plan.
He praised Kemar Roach, who scalped three wickets, and bowled impressively all day long.
“Roach bowled pretty well. In international cricket, you have got to respect your opponents. The (first) spell that Kemar Roach and Jason Holder bowled, we had to respect that and still be positive. I thought that communication was really good between me and Rahul and we backed each other well.”
Playing a Test match after a gap of seven months, Rahane’s plan of action in a tough situation was to hang in there.
“For me, it was important as we were playing a Test match after a long time, nearly seven months (vs Australia in January) and I wanted to hang in there, play as many balls possible and take my team to a good position,” he added.
Rahane had last scored a century against Sri Lanka back in 2017. Hanuma Vihari (32) and KL Rahul (44) too missed out on their half-centuries.