India’s new Test opener batsman Rohit Sharma, who scored his maiden double century in Tests on Sunday, said it was Ajinkya Rahane, who gave took away the momentum from South Africa in the third and final Test at the JSCA Stadium in Ranchi.

Notably, India were reduced to 39 for 3 in the first session of Day 1 when Rahane joined Rohit at the crease. The duo played out the first session cautiously and then capitalised on their scores in the second session.

Rahane went on to score 115 runs, including 17 fours and a six before getting caught behind by Heinrich Klaasen on the ball of George Linde.

“Once we got out in the middle after lunch, it was Ajinkya who started taking that momentum, and it was he who actually got us the momentum,” Rohit was quoted as saying on ICC’s official website.

“If I’m not wrong, he was batting on 40 off 43 balls just around the first drinks after lunch, which means we capitalised on the loose balls, we got those singles as well, so the rotation of strike was happening every now and then, which is always good for a batsman.”

Praising Rahane, the 32-year-old said, “When you keep changing strike, it doesn’t allow the bowler to keep bowling there, because different batsmen, different style of play, the bowlers have to adjust their length as well, so I think we did that pretty well, particularly Ajinkya. He came out and started playing his shots, and from there he never looked back. The partnership after that kept growing.”