I had to go for a six, says Rahul after dream ODI debut

His unbeaten knock helped India hammer the hosts by nine wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series providing 1-0 lead to the visitors.

Lokesh Rahul after magnificent century on his debut.   -  AP

K. L. Rahul, who became the first Indian to score a hundred on ODI debut, said he had made up his mind to hit a six to reach the three-figure mark in the first match against Zimbabwe here today.

“I wasn’t thinking much, there was just one way to get to a century. I wanted to hold my shape and just hit it,” said Rahul when asked about his mindset with the team needing two runs for victory and he being six runs short for a century.

His unbeaten knock helped India >hammer the hosts by nine wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series. Rahul said he enjoyed the challenge of batting on a difficult wicket.

“It was a tough wicket so I could not be complacent. I wanted to play out the new ball, and then take it from there. I am really satisfied with the way I carried on and stayed not out in the end. Hope to do the same in the coming games,” he added.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the bowlers set up the comprehensive win by dismissing Zimbabwe for 168.

“It was a very good performance. The wicket was not easy to bat on. It was tough to rotate the strike,” said Dhoni.

On the bowling performance, he said: “I felt the fast bowlers did well, and were backed by the spinners even though there wasn’t much help for them.

“A win first up is important in a three-game series. The batsmen did a very good job, but the bowlers laid the ground work,” said the skipper.

Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer expected a better show from his team.

“We didn’t get enough runs. Maybe if we would have got to 220, it could have been a different story. We lost a couple of wickets to good balls, but few of the guys didn’t kick on after getting 20s and 30s,” said Cremer.He praised the Indian batsmen for their application on a tricky surface.

“Indian batsmen showed how easy batting can get once you get in. Our seamers bowled well, but it just didn’t go our way. We know we’re much better than that, and we can hopefully win the next game to make the third ODI a final,” he said

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