India vice captain Ajinkya Rahane on Friday rated his knock of 132 against Sri Lanka as one his best on spin-friendly tracks as he predicted tough times for batsmen in the remainder of the second Test.
Rahane shared a 217-run partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara (133) for the fourth wicket, rescuing India from a precarious 133 for three on day one.
“This was one of the best innings against spinners. My focus was to dominate. Going in to bat I knew a little bit how the wicket was behaving, how much bounce it had and whether it suits my game or not. The communication between Pujara and me was that we hardly played any maiden overs. So we put pressure back on them. As the match goes on, it will be a more difficult wicket to bat on,” said Rahane.
India’s strength in this series has been how they have handled the Lankan spinners, in particular Rangana Herath. Rahane said they had a game plan to counter home spinners.
“When we played last time here against Sri lanka, especially after Galle Test match, we decided that using footwork against Herath was very important. So, throughout against him and their other spinners we wanted to use our footwork so we could get more runs on the backfoot.
“Especially on this kind of wicket, it is very slow and dry, so we knew that if we use our footwork we would get more runs. Bounce is quite variable. Some balls are bouncing and few balls are keeping low. We knew that if they play sweep shot its good for us we have the chance to get wickets.
“But it’s not easy for batsmen playing on this wicket. Tomorrow will be key to our bowlers to bowl in right areas for long period of time,” Rahane explained.
His ninth Test hundred has come after a long gap of nine months as his last hundred came against New Zealand in 2016 when he scored 188. He struggled against England and Australia in the previous home season.