We were hampered by constant stoppage in play: Ajinkya Rahane

Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane feels the constant stoppage of play due to rain on the second day of the Lord’s Test made life difficult for the batsmen. After being put into bat by Joe Root, India were rolled over for 107 with James Anderson picking up 5/20 in a day that saw a total of just 35.2 overs being bowled with rain once again hampering proceedings.

READ: Anderson five for skittles India for 107

“How the wicket behaves because of the weather is something we cannot control. First half the game saw constant stoppages; hence it became really difficult for us to constantly switch on and off. After Pujara’s run out, there was another stoppage where we did not get to play for four to five hours. So yes, as a team you it tends to get frustrating,” Rahane told media after the end of play.

READ: ‘Vijay’s technique was exposed by Anderson’

That said, Rahane credited Anderson and Stuart Broad for bowling tight lines with the new ball. India were reduced to 11/2 and then to 15/3 with Anderson picking up his 25th five-wicket haul in Tests and sixth at Lord’s, an effort that puts him just one wicket away from 100 Test wickets at the venue.

“No excuses, but England bowled really well. I think they used the conditions extremely well. I would like to give credit to their bowling, specially James Anderson,” Rahane said. “These were definitely challenging conditions. Anderson did not bowl a short ball. He was just bowling at the same spot – four or five-metre length – and that is really crucial on this wicket. If you are bowling that length, you got to bowl consistently.

“You cannot be too hard on yourself when you face conditions like these. You’ve got to back yourself. I think we were right there mentally, but Anderson was really good. Bowling 13-14 overs for 20 runs and getting five wickets is phenomenal.”

The forecast is promising for Day 3 where India will look to dish out a similar treatment to England. Rahane stressed on the importance of picking up early wickets and backed his bowling unit to deliver.

“Still a long way to go in this match. We have to bowl well; our bowling unit is doing really well. And if weather permits, I’m sure our bowlers can make it count,” he pointed out.

One individual India will have high expectations from is Kuldeep Yadav. The team felt his absence in the first Test, and after plenty of clamours for his inclusion in the side at Lord’s, Kuldeep replaced Umesh Yadav in the side. However, in seaming conditions, whether going ahead with the wristspinner at the expense of a fast bowler was the right call remains to be seen.

“It all boils down to the captain and the coach, it’s their decision. Umesh bowled with a lot of heart in the previous Test but it’s about going ahead with a certain combination. Virat is backing Kuldeep and we’re expecting him to take a five-wickets haul,” Rahane said.

The highest scorer in India’s 107 was R Ashwin with 29, followed by Virat Kohli’s 23, while the rest of the batting once again floundered. Rahane however, feels that not much needs to be read into the issue, and that India will like to put this innings on the backburner and move ahead in the five-Test series.

“I don’t think there is anything wrong. Just because you aren’t getting runs or don’t get starts doesn’t mean your methods are wrong. It’s a long series and going ahead, we have to forget about this innings and move on,” Rahane said.

“The quicker we learn from this innings, the better it is for us. When a bowler is bowling probing lines, as a batsman you have to leave the ball. You cannot think that if you’ve played three maiden overs, you’ve got to score now, you should be ready to play another three maidens if required. A lot depends on patience in such conditions.”