Indian Test cricket team vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Friday (10th August) accepted that Cheteshwar Pujara’s unlucky run out hurt them in the second Test match against England.
“It definitely hurts as a teammates, and I am sure even Pujara will be upset about his run out. The run out definitely hurt us and the weather after that too. I think we did not get to play for 3-4 hours, so definitely as a team you feel really bad,” Ajinkya Rahane said.
Rahane also accepted that Indian batters faltered against a quality English pace attack. “You have to accept your mistake. Acceptance is the key, I think, when you play in England. It’s not about getting caught behind, even run out, but you have got to accept your mistake and move on. The quicker we learn from our mistakes, the better for us. I am sure everyone will learn from this innings and there is a long way to go in this match as well as the series.”
The 30-year-old Indian vice-captain also insisted that they could learn a few tricks from their opposition. “May be we will need to learn from their batting unit how to bat in such conditions, which shots are important, which shots you can play, etc. Many times in England you cannot only stay defensive. You need to understand which shots you can play — may be the cut shot or the late cut. So the earlier you learn all that the better it would be for you,” Rahane said, adding, “Conditions were tougher than anywhere else. I don’t think you can get any more challenging conditions than this (in Test cricket) especially with Duke ball in these weather conditions. But as a batsman you have to back your ability. It is all about intent out there, of not only scoring runs but also leaving the ball and defending well. As a batsman it is always a challenge to come here and play against this kind of attack.”
Ajinkya Rahane heaped praises on England seamer James Anderson, who finished with a fifer in the first innings. “These were definitely challenging conditions. Anderson did not bowl a short ball. He was just bowling at 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, then as a batsman you have to leave the ball or back your methods consistently. It is all about patience on these conditions and trusting your methods and backing your ability,” he said.
“They used the conditions really well. I thought the wicket, because of the weather we cannot control. First half, when the game was on and off, it was difficult for batting team to switch on and off. But when you play at the highest level, no excuses. I would like to give credit to English bowling team — Anderson, Stuart Broad and others — they bowled really well as a unit,” Rahane added.
Though India was bowled out at the low total of 107 runs in the first innings, Rahane was confident visitors could defend it. “You cannot be too harsh on yourself as an individual and team when you get conditions like this. You have to back yourself as a player and team. I felt we were right there skill wise. There is still a long way to go in this match. We have to bowl well, and our bowling unit is doing well. If weather permits, I am sure our bowlers will bowl in the right areas well. Cricket is a funny game, we still have to back ourselves and get positive mind set back,” Rahane said.
“It is important that you back yourself in English conditions and trust your methods. I think still you need luck in these conditions. But there are no complaints at all, we have to bowl and field well,” he added.