Ajinkya Rahane is a relieved man, having broken a sequence of 17 Tests without a Test hundred. On the tour of the Caribbean, Rahane made 81 and 102 in the first Test in Antigua to mark his return to form.
This shut down all talk of his Test berth being under the scanner, something Virat Kohli firmly brushed aside prior to the series when he labelled Rahane as the “most sorted guy.”
Between his 132 against Sri Lanka in August 2017 and the series in the West Indies in August, Rahane had averaged below nine other Indian batsmen who have played at least ten innings in that period.
“The question of when I’m going to get that hundred is now over. I’m feeling relieved,” Rahane said at a press conference in Visakhapatnam ahead of the first Test against South Africa. “I believe that each and every match and series teaches you so much.
“When I was first selected for the Indian team, I had to wait for almost two years and 17 Test matches before making my debut. And here again, had to wait for 17 Test matches to score a hundred.”
Prior to the series, Rahane had a mixed county season with Hampshire, scoring 307 runs in 13 innings, stats that were fueled by one century – 119 – and one half-century.
“When I was playing for Hampshire, I was thinking about my debut, how my mindset was positive and I was enjoying cricket,” Rahane said. :During these 17 Test matches [when] I was batting well but not getting hundreds, I was thinking about the century and it was going away from me.
“So when I went in to bat in the West Indies, I told myself that I’m not going to think about the three-figure mark, and I’m going to enjoy batting. Batting according to the team’s demand was my priority. And yes, I batted when the team needed it, and that elusive hundred also came through.”