Playing with positive intent was key for India: Ajinkya Rahane

Mumbai batsman's game plan to bat for long helps Indians post 314-6 on the opening day of the three-day tour match against Sri Lanka Board President's XI in Colombo

Colombo: Centurion Ajinkya Rahane yesterday said that his game plan of playing a long innings before the start of the three-match Test series worked well for him in the solitary tour game here.

Ajinkya Rahane en route his unbeaten 109 against SL's Board President XI in Colombo yesterday. Pic/AFP
Ajinkya Rahane en route his unbeaten 109 against SL's Board President XI in Colombo yesterday. Pic/AFP 

Indians rode on Rahane's unbeaten 109 to manage 314 for six at the end of the opening day's play in the three-day practice game at the R Premadasa Stadium. Rahane's 127-ball stay so far is laced with 11 fours and a six and he was satisfied with his first ton on Sri Lankan soil in cricketing whites.

"The ball was doing something in the middle. For any batsman the first 20-25 minutes were very crucial. So I batted carefully initially, but the intent was positive throughout," Rahane after the first day's play.

"After I scored 20-25 runs, I thought about playing a long innings and playing one before the Test series is very important," he added.

Openers Shikhar Dhawan (62) and Lokesh Rahul (43) put on 108 runs for the opening stand, after which four wickets fell quickly for only 25 runs, leaving the visitors at 133 for four. Kohli (8) and Rohit Sharma (7) were both dismissed cheaply.

'Playing a long innings crucial'
"The conditions here aren't too different. Coming from Mumbai especially, I don't think they were too different. But the important thing here is that whoever is set at the crease needs to bat long. That will be the key in this series on these pitches. Conditions will challenge you here. So if you are set, it is important to convert it," he said.

"But I wasn't looking for my hundred. Instead, I was looking to stay at the crease as long as possible and play as many balls as possible. At the same time, I wanted to play positive cricket," he added. Rahane's 134-run fifth-wicket partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara (42) was crucial.

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