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Plan was to bat once: Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane

Kingston (Jamaica) : Sitting comfortably with a 304-run lead, India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane said the plans of batting just once during the match seems to have worked for the team.

In reply to West Indies’ 196, India declared at 500 for nine at the end of third day’s play of the second Test here yesterday.

“Initially, in the morning, we wanted to play normal cricket. Unfortunately Wriddhiman Saha got out just before lunch. That partnership was really important for us. The plan was to bat once and bat long and I think we did that,” Rahane, who scored a century, said after the day’s play.

“After lunch the plan was to play positive and try and get a 300-plus lead,” he added.

West Indies couldn’t start their second innings as rain washed off the last session.

“Unfortunately the rain came in, that’s not something we can control. We were not thinking about the weather. We did not have any discussion about the rain. The important thing was how much of a lead we could get and how quickly we can get it. We wanted to play normal cricket till lunch and then if we played positively, our lead would’ve grown,” said Rahane.

Asked about the possibility of tropical storm Earl hurting India’s chances of a win in the second Test, Rahane said: “We can’t control the rain. On these islands it rains but clears quickly also. You can’t be thinking about the weather and playing. Anyway there is plenty of time left in the Test match.

“Instead of thinking about the weather, it’s better we focus on what we can control. That will be better for us. The weather is good sometimes and bad sometimes. We don’t spend too much time discussing that.”

Rahane scored his seventh Test hundred after being dropped once and endured a tough spell from Jason Holder as well. But he held the lower order together and pushed his side to a healthy lead.

“There’s still some help for the fast bowlers in the wicket and I thought Jason Holder bowled a very good spell before lunch. I was not thinking about my hundred. When Amit Mishra and Mohammed Shami got out, I told Umesh Yadav to play normal cricket. I told him to just give 100 per cent whether defending or playing a shot.

“When I was on 84-85, I wanted to play normal cricket but the off-spinner brought his long off in and I wanted to clear the fielder. When I was on 95, I thought we should just play normal cricket and once I for my hundred I thought of playing some shots,” he said.

“I was disappointed with the way I got out in the first Test. But, whether we play in India or abroad, what’s important for me is my process and preparations. I never think about scoring hundreds. I think the results will follow as long as I prepare well and my processes are right. I think about the small things that are helpful for me,” Rahane explained.

However, 28-year-old batsman said that scoring a hundred was special.

“At the same time scoring a hundred here is special, and getting to the three-figure mark is really special for a batsman,” he signed off.

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