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India vs West Indies | I Got Emotional After ‘Special’ Antigua Hundred: Rahane

Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane finally reached a three-figure score in Tests once again after a little over two years, when he looked up the sky in Antigua in the first Test against West Indies and spared a moment to take it all in.

Cricketnext Staff |August 30, 2019, 11:07 AM IST
India vs West Indies | I Got Emotional After ‘Special’ Antigua Hundred: Rahane

Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane finally reached a three-figure score in Tests once again after a little over two years, when he looked up the sky in Antigua in the first Test against West Indies and spared a moment to take it all in.

Speaking about the century in the pre-match press conference ahead of the second Test in Jamaica starting on Friday, Rahane admitted to being a little emotional when the moment finally arrived.

"I was a little bit emotional," he said. "I thought the 10th hundred was really special. I wasn't thinking about any particular celebration, it came out automatically. It took me two years to get that 10th hundred. As I said the process always matters to me a lot. Preparations before each and every series is very important. I was actually doing that throughout the two years, and so (this century) was really special."

Rahane played crucial knocks in different situations in both innings, needing to solidify after India had lost three quick wickets in the first innings, and when the team needed to consolidate their lead in the second innings.

"We were under pressure (in the first innings). I thought West Indies bowled really well in that session, throughout that day. It was an opportunity for me to do something special for my team. Scoring 81, I think because of the situation I wasn't thinking about myself because it was important to get that partnership going - one player has to stay and bat and we knew that. I thought it was something special for me personally as well because we knew we were in a difficult position at that point of time and happily we did really well and came back strongly from that point.

“I knew that partnership with Virat was very crucial. And basically, because of that team thinking, the pressure was completely off. And it was really special getting that hundred after two years."

When it comes to Tests, India are stacked with quality players in their batting line-up, which means that even someone like Rohit Sharma finds it hard to get into the XI. The team is likely to go with the same line-up in the second Test, which means he will continue to be on the bench.

"Vihari did very well in India A tours and he did really well in the domestic circuit," Rahane said. "It's good that players who actually did consistently well over a period of time in domestic cricket are doing well at the international level.

"At the same time Rohit is also a quality player, a special player - it's hard to see him miss out on a Test match."

Should West Indies lose or draw the Test, it would mean a first Test series loss for them at home in over two years. Captain Jason Holder is desperate to avoid that, and he spoke about how he wants to help out the team batting higher up the order, but finds it tough to do considering the work he puts in with the ball in hand as well.

"It's (batting higher) something that I've obviously been wanting to do for a long time. It's just been a team composition - I've been asked to bowl a lot of overs, that's primarily my role, just trying to keep the run flow down. I've had a lot of success with the ball as well, having to bowl 20-30 overs and then come out and bat high has been difficult. If we can ease the burden off myself and get people like Roston Chase, then I'd be able to give a little bit more attention to my batting."

Holder addressed West Indies’ troubles with the bat, and acknowledged that while he was happy with the bowling performances, it was in the other department where they really need to step up.

"I think we got to be decisive with our footwork, decisive with our shot selection - if we are going to play or if we are going to leave. That's just standard cricket. We just got to be a little bit more certain with what we are looking to do and back our defenses, trust our preparation that we had and just fight through the tough periods." he said.

"The starts have been crucial for us. We have had guys get in and get out, so it's just a matter for us to stay a little but longer in our game plan and be a little bit more patient as well and wear the Indian bowlers down. We saw a little bit in the second innings after a spell or two they tend to be a little jaded. So just to keep them a little bit more on their feet as possible and here in Jamaica it tends to be very hot and humid as well, so the longer we keep them on their feet, the better off we will be."

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