Ajinkya Rahane: ‘Patience is the key as a bowling unit’

Ajinkya Rahane believes that the biggest takeaway for the team has been the centuries by its batsmen, Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay.

Ajinkya Rahane added that the ‘biggest positive is the way’ the Indian bowlers performed.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

After finishing off a Test match in just two days, India’s stand-in captain, Ajinkya Rahane believes that the biggest takeaway for the team has been the centuries by its batsmen, Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay.

On the first day of the one-off Test, the Indian openers went hammer and tongs at the Afghanistan bowlers to lay the foundation for the side’s one-sided win. “The takeaway is Shikhar and Murali Vijay’s centuries. Getting hundred against any opponent is special. Vijay took his time and played after two months. Shikhar was batting well in IPL. He carried his form. K.L. Rahul also played well,” Rahane said.

He, however, was quick enough to add that the ‘biggest positive is the way’ the bowlers performed. “To (win) a Test match outside India, we have to take 20 wickets. We did that in South Africa. We took 60 wickets in three games. We have to do that. They were patient and were thinking about wickets. As a batting unit, even if you score 325 runs, if your bowlers can take 20 wickets, you have the best chance to win a Test match,” Rahane said.

READ: Hayden: You have to give Afghanistan more time

He also explained that it was a good outing to manage the bowlers. “We discussed before going into the field was that we will just keep it really simple, try and be attacking in our mindset,” he said, adding: “Patience is the key as a bowling unit. For me, it was really easy as Ishant had just played county games and was in good rhythm. Umesh had bowled well in the IPL. These guys are experienced and they know what to do, so it was really simple. I am really happy we have such a good attack.”

The spinners impressed despite the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium wicket not being conducive. “We wanted to create such a pitch, because we are going to play five Tests in England, so that we could get practice as per what we are going to get in England,” he said.

“They are quality spinners, they can bowl on any surface, they have got some variations. Jadeja bowled the same line and length, but with his discipline, it is not easy for a batsman to hit. Ashwin has his skills, he varies his pace really well. It was about the combination. Ishant, whatever spells he bowled, he was fantastic. Umesh, in the second innings, was really good.”

While he did not expect the match to be over in two days, Rahane credited the Afghanistan side for coming back into the game in the final session on Thursday. But then, Rahane admitted that a bit of more exposure to the longer format of the game will help the new entrant.