Ajinkya Rahane said Kotla pitch was not easy to bat on © Getty Images
Ajinkya Rahane said Kotla pitch was not easy to bat on © Getty Images

Ajinkya Rahane had mixed feelings about the Feroz Shah Kotla track which he described as neither too easy nor too difficult for shot making. “Shot making was not easy but once you are set, you decide that you are not going to get out. It was difficult for bowlers to get batsman out. We all saw that when our bowlers bowled (showed) good discipline and patience. For bowlers, it was important to show patience and bowl in right areas but as batsman, I feel spending time in the middle, taking my time, playing my normal cricket rather than play attacking shots was important. It was not easy for shot making but not difficult as well,” he observed.
Rahane lauded Ravichandran Ashwin‘s effort and the contribution from the lower order which included the 38-run stand between Ashwin and Umesh Yadav for the 9th wicket. READ: Ajinkya Rahane attributes hundred to approach of taking one ball at a time

“That’s a good sign when you know that your lower-order is batting really well. I think that partnership (Umesh-Ashwin) was crucial. If guys at 8, 9, 10, 11 can contribute, then opposition’s morale goes down. Batting with Ashwin was really important. Communication was just to play normal cricket. Ashwin can bat as he has got 2 Test hundreds. We thought this morning that their bowlers Morne and Abbott will come hard at us. So we took our time initially. Ashwin was timing really well. Even I took my time and then decided to play my shots as well.”
There was a sense of déjà vu for Rahane as he said that it felt like being in the same situation when he scored his second Test hundred at Lord’s last year.
“When we were 138/6 (actually 139/6), I was recollecting those memories as even at Lord’s, we were 142/7 (actually 145/7). It was like same situation. I was just thinking to just communicate with other batsmen and back my instincts. READ: Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin propel India to 326/8 vs South Africa at lunch in 4th Test, Day 2 at Delhi
“When Ashwin came in, I just told him that if the ball is there to be hit, I will go after and back my instincts. I think the response from him was crucial. He was really positive from his end. He said you can bat whatever you like and however you like. So those memories from Lord’s innings came handy here,” Rahane fondly recollected. He also said that the whole team felt that he was “one innings away from coming back amongst runs”.