Team India’s vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane described his innings of 61 in the second innings of the Lord’s Test against England as a ‘really satisfying’ one.
Rahane was under the scanner going into the Test match following a prolonged run of low scores. The pressure grew on him after he was dismissed for 1 in the first innings. However, the middle-order batter responded with a gritty half-century in the second innings.
Speaking at a virtual press conference ahead of the third Test at Headingley, Rahane said the knock was crucial keeping the game situation in mind. He stated:
“About my innings (at Lord’s), it was really satisfying. For me, I always think about the team so that contribution of 61 was really important.”
India have an excellent record at Headingley, having won their last two Tests here in 1986 and 2002 respectively. According to Rahane, though, the team is not thinking about the venue or the conditions and is only focused on giving its best. He asserted:
“We are not thinking too much about the conditions and whatever Headingley has to offer. It’s all in the mind and mentally we are really strong. We just want to give our best and all the players are in good space. They have been doing really well so it is all about having that confidence and putting your best foot forward.”
Those 200 balls Pujara played at Lord’s were really important for us: Ajinkya Rahane
Apart from Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara was another batter who went into the Lord’s Test under intense scrutiny. With India under pressure, Pujara and Rahane added 100 for the fourth wicket in the second innings.
Although there were mixed reactions to Pujara’s 206-ball 45, Rahane backed India’s No. 3. Reflecting on the partnership, he said:
“See, it was all about hanging in there. The communication was all about thinking about the small targets and then build it on from there. About Cheteshwar (Pujara), we always talk that he plays slow, but that innings was really important for us. He batted almost 200-plus balls. Even though he got 45 runs for that, I thought those 200 balls were really important for us.”
“He told me to back my game, I told him the same, whatever methods he wanted to go with. I thought our communication was really good. We just wanted to build one good partnership. We knew that 170-180 would have been a very good score on that wicket,” Rahane added.
India and England will now battle it out in the third Test of the five-match series at Headingley from August 25.