Rahane: 'Pujara and I take the blame'

Ajinkya Rahane played a crucial knock to forge a century partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara and help revive India from 46 for three to post 239 for seven in the first innings on day one of the second Test against New Zealand.

Cheteswar Pujara (R) reacts after completing his half century as Ajinkya Rahane looks on during the second Test against New Zealand at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.   -  PTI

Ajinkya Rahane, who played a crucial knock to forge a century partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara and help revive India from 46 for three to post 239 for seven in the first innings on day one of the second Test against New Zealand, said both of them must take the blame for not banking on their good work.

“We played too many shots. Me and Pujara will take the blame as we both were set. It was our responsibility to carry the partnership forward. A batsman just needs one ball to get out, but if we could have scored centuries, our position would have been different. I am not blaming anyone else. Maybe it was our responsibility,” Rahane said after the end of the first day's play.

“It's disappointing. You don't think about scoring a hundred. You play according to situation. Maybe we lost our concentration and got out. We lost two extra wickets. Five wickets would have been ideal.”

Rahane said the behaviour of the newly laid pitch at Eden Gardens surprised the Indian camp. “There's something in the wicket here. It's two-paced. I'm really happy with the way we batted. It was tough very humid in the second session...We didn't expect a two-paced wicket. There was something for fast bowlers."

“With the second new ball, the bouncer that (Trent) Boult bowled to Saha was because of the crack. It's not easy for batsmen. We played some bad shots and got out, we have to learn quickly and move forward...If (Ravindra) Jadeja and (Wriddhiman) Saha get to 325 or 350 tomorrow, it will be a good total on the first innings here.”

New Zealand's star of the day, pacer Matt Henry, who captured three wickets, said the team was sure of its task in hand. “The way we went about our work today was outstanding. We knew we had to make sure we controlled the run-rate because it is very tough in these conditions to take wickets. We knew it was important with the new ball to take advantage of it because the wicket had been under covers for a long time so that was going to be a crucial part of the game."

"Jeets (Patel) and Sat (Mitchell Santner) were fantastic in allowing us to build a lot of pressure and that manifested to what happened at the end of the day."

About his late call up, Henry said he was prepared for the challenge. On the pitch, which had a tinge of green and favoured the faster bowlers early on, Henry said, “It was fair. Obviously coming over here you probably don't expect conditions like that at the start of the day so we knew we had to make the most of that, especially being put in with the ball.”