'Lord of Lord's' Dilip Vengsarkar impressed by Rahane
He had been outside the pavilion building for barely a few minutes before requests for autographs started to pour in. Even more than two decades since he retired from cricket, Dilip Vengsarkar is a well-known figure here.cricket Updated: Jul 31, 2014 12:15 IST
He had been outside the pavilion building for barely a few minutes before requests for autographs started to pour in. Even more than two decades since he retired from cricket, Dilip Vengsarkar is a well-known figure here.
An elderly gentleman got him to autograph copies of scorecards of all the three hundreds he scored at Lord's. A hundred at the home of cricket is cherished by the greatest, Vengsarkar had three successive tons, thus earning the sobriquet 'Lord of Lord's'.
"It brings the best out of you and the buzz gets your adrenaline pumping," said Vengsarkar, while watching the proceedings in the second Test.
Adding to the aura of Lord's is the fact that it provides unique challenges, mainly due to its slope from one side to the other, square of the wicket.
Some of the biggest names, including Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, didn't get a hundred here.
"You have to watch for the in-cutters while batting from the Pavilion End and leg-cutters from the Nursery End because of the slope. Most importantly, you have to play the ball late," said Vengsarkar.
That is what Ajinkya Rahane did on the opening day and reaped the rewards. "Rahane was fantastic. It was one of the best innings played by an Indian in Tests, the wicket was green and the team was in trouble," said Vengsarkar.
"The key is to build your innings, once you are in it is a beautiful wicket to bat on. Rahane got it perfect. He built his innings and then changed gears. He was unlucky to miss out on a big score after getting set at Trent Bridge when the ball hit the toe of his bat.
"Cheteshwar Pujara has to learn to do the same. At this level, you have to convert the good balls into scoring shots. Pujara played perfectly at the start but he became too defensive. It puts pressure on your partner as well," said Vengsarkar.
Overall, Vengsarkar was happy with how India's young batting has come along. "We are going to hear a lot about Pujara, Kohli and Rahane. They are superb replacements for Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman.
"This Test is our best chance to win. They have to take their chances and not allow the game to drift."
If India can win here, it will be only the second time ever. Their only victory here was based on Vengsarkar's unbeaten hundred (126 not out, in 1986).