Ajinkya Rahane: This ton is for my supporters
Ajinkya Rahane dedicates his first Test century in two years to those who backed him during his rough patch as India thrash Windies by 318 runs to clinch first Test
North Sound (Antigua): Back with a bang, India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane dedicated his game-changing performance in the first Test against the West Indies to all those who have stood by him during the past two years when he went through a rough patch.
Rahane scored 81 and 102 — his first Test hundred in two years during India's 318-run victory, which also earned him the 'Man of the Match' award. "This hundred was special. My time with Hampshire really helped me. I dedicate this hundred to the people who backed me, supported me when I was going through a rough patch," Rahane said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Rahane, who had gone 17 Tests without a century in more than two years, hit his 10th Test hundred — 102 off 242 balls — in the second innings of India's World Test Championship campaign opener.
"It feels special. Getting this hundred after 29 or 30 innings. I've been getting 70s, but getting a 100 means a lot to me," Rahane said after India dismissed the hosts for 100 in 26.5 overs in the second innings.
Rahane added 125 runs for the fifth wicket with the young G Hanuma Vihari (93) as India declared their second innings at 343 for 7. In an attempt to get some quick runs, Vihari pulled Jason Holder but could not connect the ball and the under-edge was easily taken by Shai Hope.
Before that Rahane too fell while trying to score quickly, getting caught by Holder off Shannon Gabriel. The West Indies were bowled out for 100 in 26.5 overs chasing 419. Kemar Roach (38), Miguel Cummins (19 not out) and Roston Chase (12) were the only batsmen who managed double-digit mark.
Roach added 50 runs for the last wicket with Cummins but it just delayed the inevitable. The win took India to the top of the World Test Championship table with 60 points. Sri Lanka are currently second although they have equal number of points. Australia and England are currently third and fourth respectively with 32 points each.
The win was 27th as captain for Virat Kohli, who now jointly tops the list with Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He has also gone past Sourav Ganguly (11) for most away wins as India captain.
He also termed his 81 in the first innings as crucial considering the situation of the match when he went out to bat.
'First innings crucial too'
"The first innings was crucial after 20 for 3 (25 for 3). We needed a partnership, and the partnership between Rahul and me was crucial. I think first day the wicket was damp. West Indies bowled really well in that session. But it was important to play as many balls as possible without thinking about runs," said the vice-captain.
"We wanted to bat 90-100 overs in the first innings knowing runs would come. In the 2nd innings, me and Virat wanted to get a good partnership. We wanted to just bat, bat and bat."
'Sorry for Rohit but Jinks lived to team's faith'
Pravin Amre felt sorry for Rohit Sharma but at the same time, he is happy that his protege Ajinkya Rahane for living up to the faith of the team management. "I felt sorry for Rohit. I feel Rohit should have been given an opportunity after scoring those five hundreds. But overall, the team management backed Ajinkya and he returned that faith, which is important," Amre told PTI yesterday. Amre said hard work and patience finally paid off for the India vice-captain.
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Cricketer Ajinkya Rahane comes out in support of 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'