Talented batsman Ajinkya Rahane expressed his disappointment in the manner he got out playing a poor shot off a rank longhop bowled by part-time off-spinner Moeen Ali on the third day of the third cricket Test against England in Southampton on Tuesday.
“I was really disappointed in the manner I got out. I was concentrating really well at that point of time. I thought it was a loose delivery and played it, but the shot was a miscued one. In the end, it was a bad shot. I just need to learn from this and bat well in the second innings,” a dejected Rahane told the mediapersons at the end of the day’s play.
Needing 47 more runs to avoid the follow-on, Rahane was confident that they would still make a match of it.
“MS and Shami are still batting,” said Rahane, expressing confidence in the tail’s ability to wag once again.
“If we can bat well in tomorrow’s (Wednesday) morning session, then anything can happen. It could still become an interesting match. Cricket is a funny game.”
Rahane scored his third Test half-century on the day to help India avoid a collapse in the post-lunch session. He put on 74 runs with Rohit Sharma, but both of them fell on either side of the tea-break to Moeen Ali, a fact that has left India ruing their mistakes.
When asked if it was a thought-out plan between Rohit and him to attack Ali, Rahane denied this.
“No, we had decided to play one ball at a time and capitalize on the loose balls. We were going along well, but in cricket, anyone can take anybody’s wicket. So unfortunately Rohit got out and then I too played a bad shot,” he said.
“The England bowlers bowled well today (Tuesday). They were patient on a pitch that didn’t show too much wear and tear. When the ball was old, the pitch seemed to be a little two-paced. But with the new ball it is coming easily on the bat still. So they bowled consistently and in good areas today (Tuesday),” the batsman said, showing how the opposition got the better of their batting line-up on the day.
With two days remaining in the Test, the onus will be on India’s last two wickets to knock off the 47 runs needed to save the follow-on.
Dhoni is still at the crease and he is obviously the team’s big hope, but much depends on Shami and Pankaj Singh as well.
“We are not thinking of the second innings at all at this stage. After losing a few wickets we have managed to recover quite well thanks to our captain. We are not safe but in an okay position now. If our captain and Shami do well tomorrow (Wednesday), then probably we will do well,” Rahane signed off.