Long way to go, we just need to believe: Rahane
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
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.”
Ajinkya Rahane said India are confident of saving the Lord’s Test.