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Hyderabad: Jan 31, 2014
Lokesh Rahul became the second batsman in the Ranji Trophy 2013-14 to reach 1,000 runs in the season. His ton helped lay the platform for Karnataka’s domination over Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy final at Hyderabad.
Speaking to the media at the end of Day Three, Rahul said, “I am very happy that I got 1,000 runs this season. Hoping that we can also win the tournament.”
“The wicket is slowing down a little bit. The odd ball is turning. We are looking to get as many runs as possible tomorrow.”
Robin Uthappa scored 72 and concurred with Rahul about the turn in the surface. Uthappa said, “The ball is turning, but it is slow turn, it is not vicious. The wicket is very dry, there isn’t much turn but it is very slow. Since the ball is coming slowly off the wicket, we were discussing that it is not only a difficult wicket to get runs on but also wickets.”
Rahul added, “Our plan was to not let their bowlers settle down. Once Robin came in, he attacked and made it easy.”
Rahul had been down with a temperature in the lead-up to the game and Uthappa said that the opener was struggling in the middle at times, “He wasn’t feeling well either, running a temperature yesterday when he was struggling to keep balls away initially; that was because he was not well. I asked him if he was okay and he said his eyes were watering up when the bowler was running in. But he dealt with those situations very very well. It takes a lot of strength to do that when you’re not feeling well. I think he did that exceptionally well.”
Uthappa also praised Rahul for the way he batted, “I think something that stands about Rahul is his work ethics. I think it is commendable for someone young as him to have such work ethic, enthusiasm and discipline he has for cricket. And that obviously shows in his performances.”
Karnataka have played as a unit and have often cheered each other’s success on the field of play. Speaking about it, Uthappa said, “That’s the wonderful thing about the Karnataka team. We all enjoy each other’s success.”
Karnataka are leading Maharashtra by 169 runs at the end of Day Three.
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