Long way to go, we just need to be­lieve: Ra­hane

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - HTSPORTSMAX - N Ananthanarayanan sports­desk@hin­dus­tan­times.com

LON­DON: In­dia’s first in­nings ca­pit­u­la­tion in the Lord’s Test in de­mand­ing con­di­tions on Fri­day put In­dia on the mat but Ajinkya Ra­hane felt the fail­ure shouldn’t be judged too harshly.

He de­fended In­dia’s bats­men, who have, bar­ring Vi­rat Kohli, flopped in three in­nings in a row.

“You can­not be too harsh on your­self when you get con­di­tions like this — the wicket (was tough) be­cause of the weather, which we can­not con­trol. You got to back your­self as a player and team,” said Ra­hane. “I don’t think there’s any­thing wrong (with bat­ting). Just be­cause you don’t get any runs or any start, that doesn’t mean your meth­ods are wrong. It’s a five-match se­ries and it’s a long way to go. We’ve to for­get about this in­nings... You need luck in these con­di­tions. As a bats­man you need luck. No com­plaints at all.”

Ra­hane added that In­dia were still hope­ful of sav­ing this Test. “It is still a long way to go in the match. You never know, the se­ries can still be 1-1 at the end of this match...we need to be­lieve, be­lief is im­por­tant.”

In­dia win­ning this game looks un­likely now with Eng­land run­ning away with a mas­sive lead. And to draw, they’ll have to bat out most part of the re­main­ing two days.

You can­not be too harsh on your­self when you get con­di­tions like this ­­ the wicket (was tough) be­cause of the weather, which we can­not con­trol.

AJINKYA RA­HANE, In­dia player

FIERCE CON­DI­TIONS

James An­der­son said that the con­di­tions were good enough for them to bowl out any side in the world. He felt the con­di­tions at Lord’s were so seam-friendly on Fri­day that even the home bats­men would not have sur­vived against the pace at­tack.

An­der­son cap­tured 5/20, his 26th five-wicket in­nings hauls in Test that took the 36-year-old’s ca­reer tally to 549 wick­ets. “If we were bowl­ing at our bats­men, we’d have the bet­ter of them (too),” he joked.

“Some days it hoops round – they’ve been quite rare ac­tu­ally, the days we’ve had like that, move through the air as much as that – but for us, with the ex­pe­ri­ence we’ve had of bowl­ing on flat decks and the ball do­ing noth­ing, when you get the op­por­tu­nity like that you lick your lips and try to show off your skills.”

The vet­eran bowler raised some dust on Eng­land’s 2016 tour of In­dia when he sug­gested bats­men like Kohli will strug­gle in tougher con­di­tions. The In­dia skip­per hit 149 in Edg­bas­ton and did not fall to An­der­son in three in­nings, but the rest of the bats­men have cut a sorry fig­ure in the se­ries.

So, are In­di­ans good only in bat­ting-friendly con­di­tions? “To be hon­est, I think if we bowled like that, with those con­di­tions, we’d bowl most teams in the world out – be­cause we were that good.

“We hardly bowled any bad balls, didn’t give them much to hit at all – and when you build pres­sure like that all day, no mat­ter who you are around the world, it is dif­fi­cult. I don’t think it’s just the In­dian bats­men that would have strug­gled.”

He al­most got Kohli, but the clos­est he came was beat­ing him twice. But the bats­man did not get a nick. “I was think­ing why can’t he edge them like ev­ery­one else?” he said when asked about those two near misses. “I’ve re­ally en­joyed the con­test be­tween my­self and him. He’s No 1 in the world for a rea­son.”

AP

Ajinkya Ra­hane said In­dia are con­fi­dent of sav­ing the Lord’s Test.

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