Rahane relieved with ODI ton

2014-09-04 18:13
Ajinkya Rahane (AFP)

Leeds - India batsman Ajinkya Rahane has said on Thursday that he was relieved to get a good night's sleep after finally scoring his maiden one-day international hundred.

Rahane's blistering 106 off 100 balls, including 10 fours and four sixes, set the seal on world champions India's crushing nine-wicket win over England at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

Victory gave India an unbeatable 3-0 series lead.

For Rahane, opening in place of the injured Rohit Sharma, it also meant he'd reached three figures for the first time in 33 ODIs.

And it was just what the 26-year-old Mumbai stroke-maker needed after twice falling in the 40s.

"I was batting well in the first two ODIs, but got out on 45 and 41," Rahane told reporters at Headingley, where the ODI series finale against England takes place on Friday.

"That hurt me a lot because if you are batting so well in good conditions against this attack, if you get a big score it is good for my confidence and team morale.

"It hurt the team chances too that I was not converting my starts.

"After two 40s in the first two ODIs, and the way I got out, I was really hurt," Rahane explained.

"I couldn't sleep after the first game because the way I got out, stumped. It was a really silly mistake of mine.

"I was really determined in the third ODI."

Rahane said advice from former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri, brought added to the coaching staff in England following the team's preceding 3-1 Test series defeat, led to a beneficial change.

"Ravi Shastri was very helpful during this phase. He asked me to play the way I was playing, just asked for a little extra focus between 40 and 50.

'Once you cross 50, your instinct will take over.'

"My focus in the third ODI was to focus that bit harder once I crossed 40, at least for those 10 next runs.

"After that I backed my instinct."

At Edgbaston, Rahane also shared a first-wicket stand of 183 with Shikhar Dhawan, who made a blistering 97 not out.

"When we went out to bat, the ball seamed around for the first five-six overs," Rahane said.

"I told him I will remain positive, and if I see a ball I can hit I will go after it. In that over itself (the fifth of India's innings) I hit four boundaries, and the momentum switched towards us.

"Then Shikhar asked me to continue playing that way.

"I backed my game, and that allowed Shikhar some time to settle in. Once he got in, it was a joy to watch him bat from the non-striker's end."

Rahane insisted he had enjoyed opening after being asked to do so by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni following Sharma's tour-ending finger injury.

"The captain asked me if I would open, and I responded in the positive. I was ready for the challenge.

"When your captain shows that confidence in you, you also must be prepared mentally to take that challenge on."

Rahane shone earlier in the tour when he made an impressive hundred during India's 95-run win in the second Test at Lord's -- their lone victory in a 3-1 series defeat.

Asked about the significance of this tour for his own development, Rahane said: "It's been really important. Playing five Tests was a great experience. Now the ODIs.

"You get to learn many things," added Rahane, who in 10 Tests has an average of nearly 40.

"Playing this attack is always a great experience -- how to approach an innings in Test cricket and in ODI cricket, how I have to be ready mentally for all the situations."

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