Rahane showed how to bat on a seaming wicket, says pacer Starc
Australia pacer Mitchell Starc has said Ajinkya Rahane showed how to bat on a seaming pitch as his 89 kept India in the hunt in the World Test Championship final at The Oval.
India are well behind in the game but if was not for Rahanes knock, they were staring at a follow-on.
“He played really well. We know Jinks can play innings like that; we have seen it through series before. He came in at a tough time to bat and managed to, along with Thakur as well, to absorb some pressure there and build an innings and played really nicely,” said Starc.
So, it took a special catch to get him out and certainly that partnership was one that sort of prolonged our bowling innings I guess but I think they both played pretty well.
Jinx probably was a little bit more you know – waited for the bad ball and built his innings and then built a nice partnership. So, we know what a good player he is and he’s done in the past and hopefully we can get him out early in the second innings.
The left-arm pacer had dismissed Virat Kohli with a snorter on day two. With the pitch playing tricks, he felt he got lucky.
“From that far end, I struggled to find some rhythm. I just went back to trying to run in and hit the wicket. I managed to find a bit of extra bounce and found the thumb. So, yeah, nice one to get,” he said.
Starc added that it was a good toss to lose for Australia.
“It (pitch) is certainly showing more signs of inconsistency as we go on obviously. It seems to be a good toss to lose. But yeah, I think obviously with the weather that we have had and the weather that’s coming up, it might play some more tricks. I felt like we all, sort of our group, certainly felt like bowling from the far end we did not quite have the same rhythm as we did from the pavilion. And so, I certainly felt like the other end was uphill into the wind and just played a part in not being able to find that rhythm. So, bowling from the pavilion certainly felt a lot freer and we all felt a bit better today. Might just play a few more tricks as the game goes on,” he added.
Will bat in second innings, says Rahane
Battling a finger injury, India’s saviour Rahane dispelled doubts about his involvement with the bat in his team’s second innings.
Rahane, who made a memorable 89 in his comeback Test after 18 months, hoped that the finger injury he sustained on Thursday would not affect his batting in the second innings.
“Don’t think it will affect (my) batting (in India’s second innings),” Rahane told the broadcaster at the end of the third day’s play.
Rahane faced 129 balls and struck 11 fours and a six during his stay in the middle. His 109-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Shardul Thakur (51 off 109) kept India in the game but Australia still managed to take a massive 173-run first-innings lead.
“Happy with the way I batted. Had a good today. We were looking to get 320-330 but overall we had a good day. Bowling wise, we bowled well. Everyone chipped in.”
Referring to Cameron Green’s incredible catch to dismiss him, Rahane said, “That was a really good catch. We all know he is a really good fielder. Has a big reach.”
He had no qualms in admitting that Australia have their nose ahead.
“Australia is slightly ahead in the game. For us, it’s important to be in the moment, play session by session. First one hour will be crucial tomorrow. We know funny things can happen. Jadeja bowled really well, footmarks helped him against the left-hander. Still feel wicket will help seam bowlers,” Rahane said.
Rahane was struck on his right-hand index finger off a Pat Cummins bouncer on the second day of the match. He immediately felt pain and called on the physio for treatment. Thakur also said Rahane would “definitely bat” in the second innings.
“He (Rahane) got a bad blow on his finger. It does not look too bad, it is being assessed. He did not go out in the field as it would have been risky and he had already fractured the same finger previously. He will definitely bat.”
(With Agency inputs)