India vs West Indies: Ajinkya Rahane responds after scoring century, reveals what helped his game
India took a 1-0 lead in the two-match series after beating West Indies in the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua. India gave West Indies a stiff target of 419 runs to win after declaring their innings at 343/7. The Indian bowlers then put in a masterclass as they bamboozled the West Indies batters and eventually bowled them out for just 100 runs. Virat Kohli and Co recorded a 318-run win in Antigua which is India’s fourth highest Test win in their history.
The catalyst for India’s win was Ajinkya Rahane who scored 183 runs in the test. After hitting a crucial 81 in the first innings, Rahane took a step further and scored a hundred on Day 4 of the Test. Rahane was particularly happy after completing a ton as he had been getting out in 70-80s for a while. He went on to dedicate his hundred to the people who had backed him during the troubled phase where he failed to get going.
“Feels special. Getting this hundred after 29 or 30 innings. The first innings was crucial after 20 for 3. We needed a partnership, and the partnership between Rahul and me was crucial. Bowlers delivered well after that, but this hundred was special in the second innings. My time with Hampshire really helped me,’ Rahane said after receiving the man of the match award.
‘I dedicate this hundred to the people who backed me, supported me when I was going through a rough patch. I’ve been getting 70s, but getting a 100 means a lot to me. I think first day the wicket was damp. West Indies bowled really well in that session. But it was important to play as many balls as possible without thinking about runs. We wanted to bat 90-100 overs in the first innings knowing runs would come. In the 2nd innings, me and Virat wanted to get a good partnership. We wanted to just bat, bat and bat.”
Another star of the match was Jasprit Bumrah who picked up 5 wickets in the second innings to power India to the massive win. Kohli talked about the performance of Bumrah while explaining the reason behind the speedster’s absence from India’s ODI and T20I squads for the tour of West Indies.
‘Bumrah’s workload is most important which is why he didn’t play any white-ball games after the World Cup. He’ll be a key factor for us as long as the World Test Championship continues,’ Virat said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Virat also talked about the other pacers in the Indian line-up who have contributed immensily in India’s run to the top of the Test rankings.
‘Shami is the same and Ishant is a banker, reliable always. Umesh is there too and Navdeep is waiting in the wings. We are settled as our bowling options, but managing workloads will be important.’
India will now head to Sabina Park in Jamaica for the second Test which starts on 30th August.