Out-of-favour Test batsman smashes 204 for Mumbai against Hyderabad; another ton for Sarfaraz
Mumbai skipper Ajinkya Rahane in full flow against Hyderabad at MCA’s BKC ground yesterday. Pics/Atul Kamble
A Dominating batting performance coupled by a decent effort with the ball, gave Mumbai the upper hand against Hyderabad on Day Two of their Elite Group ‘B’ Ranji Trophy match at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s Bandra-Kurla Complex ground on Wednesday.
In the morning, skipper Ajinkya Rahane’s elegant 204 (26x4, 3x6) and Sarfaraz Khan’s attacking unbeaten 126 (18x4) helped Mumbai declare their innings on 651-6. Later, Shams Mulani’s (5-76) tight bowling restricted Hyderabad to 173-6 at stumps.
Rohit Rayudu scores 72
Rohit Rayudu’s unbeaten 72 (9x4) provided a ray of hope for the visitors.
Resuming at their overnight score of 457-3, the hosts added 194 runs to their total in just 37.2 overs. Rahane, unbeaten on 139 on Tuesday, reached his 150 in the first over of the day. He took a couple of runs with a flick shot off pacer Rakshan Readdi on the very first ball of the day. He then dispatched the second delivery to the fence through a straight drive and another flick for four took him to 149; his 150 coming via a flick shot as well. He continued his attacking ways to reach 204; the last 53 runs coming in just 65 balls.
Rahane, 34, who has scored 4,931 runs in 82 Tests, looked determined and confident during his 261-ball stay at the wicket. He revealed how he converted his good start into a big innings. “I used to be very still in my stance, but over the years, as you keep playing cricket, changes happen automatically and unknowingly. So, I recollected my old knocks—how I used to play at the U-19 level and when I started playing Ranji Trophy cricket, what was my style at that time. So, I’m trying to replicate it as much as possible. It’s not possible to bat according to my old style, but if I’m able to get close to that style, it will perhaps be better for me,” Rahane told mid-day on Wednesday.
National selector Sunil Joshi witnessed Rahane’s knock.
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‘I will never give up’
Rahane remarked that making a comeback into the national team is still his dream. “I’m not here to prove anything to anyone. For me, it’s all about scoring runs and just believing in my ability. One thing for sure, I will never give up. For me, the dream is still to play for India. At the same time, I just want to do well for Mumbai and help Mumbai win each and every game. I’m just focusing on that.
“When I was playing at the U-19 level, I was batting fearlessly and with freedom. There was no baggage. I’m trying to play with that same attitude. If I maintain that attitude, things will happen automatically.
I don’t want to run after anything,” he said.