Ajinkya Rahane: I was hungry after not playing in the Champions Trophy

Jun 27, 2017, 12:30 IST | PTI

After India's 105-run win over West Indies in second ODI on Sunday, centurion Ajinkya says lack of the opportunity in the recent ICC Champions Trophy had spurred him on

India opener Ajinkya Rahane during his 104-ball 103 against West Indies in the second ODI at the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad on Sunday. Pics/AP, PTI, AFP
India opener Ajinkya Rahane during his 104-ball 103 against West Indies in the second ODI at the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad on Sunday. Pics/AP, PTI, AFP

Opener Ajinkya Rahane notched a century, captain Virat Kohli scored 87 and India crushed West Indies by 105 runs in a lopsided ODI in Trinidad on Sunday.

Rahane compiled 103 and shared in an opening stand of 114 with Shikhar Dhawan as India made 310 for five off 43 overs in the rain-shortened match at Queen's Park Oval.

West Indies never looked like reaching their target after losing two wickets in the first three overs, with pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissing Kieran Powell and Jason Mohammed for ducks.

Opener Shai Hope offered decent resistance with 81 off 88 balls as the home team finished on 205 for six, giving India a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, after the first game on Friday was shortened by rain and declared a draw.

Rahane, who did not make the India team for the recent Champions Trophy in England, grabbed his chance to impress the selectors.

"I didn't get an opportunity in the Champions Trophy, and I was hungry," he said.

"It's lovely to open with Shikhar. He's in great form. We understand each other's game well and complement each other. The wicket was slightly damp. We wanted to take our time initially, as well as play our shots," added Rahane.

Kohli lauded Rahane's effort. "Jinx (Rahane) has been a part of the ODI set-up for a while and we all felt he had a great potential at the top of the order. He is always there as the third opening batsman," Kohli said after the win.

"In this series, he has batted really well. He is such an established Test batsman. He wants to make it count in the shorter format," said Kohli adding that Rahane's presence brings a balance to the side and allows him to play an extra bowler, which will come handy in the 2019 World Cup. "He can be that floater for us in the middle-order. He allows you to play an extra bowler in a big tournament like the 2019 World Cup. There are very few people, who can perform two roles for the team," he said.

The young Kuldeep Yadav took 3-50 in his second ODI, and Kohli described the Chinaman bowler as lethal. "His cross seam deliveries turn both ways. I have faced him in the IPL.

He's quite amazing with what he does with the bowl and especially on dry wickets, like today, he becomes more lethal," he said. India will play the third ODI on June 30 at Antigua's Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

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