Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane added an unbeaten 185-run stand to put India on top at stumps on day one. ©IANS

Vikram Rathour, India’s batting coach, praised Ajinkya Rahane following the first day’s play of the third and final Test against South Africa in Ranchi on Saturday.

While Rohit Sharma scored his third hundred of the series while opening the batting, Rahane scored an unbeaten 83 as India posted 22/4 before rain cut short the first day’s play at the JSCA International Stadium Complex.

“Ajinkya showed great intent today. Whenever he bats with this intent, he looks a really good player,” said Rathour during the post-match press conference.

India were in a spot of bother as the visitors reduced India to 39/3, with Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Virat Kohli back in the dressing room.

Rohit and Rahane then added an unbeaten 185-run stand to put India on top at stumps on day one. While Rohit was unbeaten on 117, Rahane was batting on 83.

When asked about Rohit’s innings, Rathour said: “As I said, they were bowling in good areas and there was some help in the wicket. So, as a batsman, you have to survive during that time, which Rohit did very well.”

Rohit, with his third hundred of the series, became only the second opener after Sunil Gavaskar to score three or more hundreds in a Test series.

The right-hander, who has thus far hit four sixes in the first innings of the third Test, also surpassed Shimron Hetmyer as he became the batsman with most sixes in a Test series. Rohit now has 16 sixes against his name while the West Indian had hit 15 sixes during the series against Bangladesh.

Rathour, meanwhile, also said that Kagiso Rabada, who scalped two wickets, bowled great areas.

“Rabada is one of the better bowlers in the world at the moment and today he showed why he is rated so high. He bowled great areas today. And that is what good batters need to do in Test cricket, you need to survive those spells,” concluded Rathour.