Rahul 'relieved' to score ton

2015-01-08 11:52
Lokesh Rahul (Getty)

Sydney - Rising India star Lokesh Rahul said he was more relieved than proud of scoring his maiden century in just his second Test match against Australia in Sydney on Thursday.

The 22-year-old right-hander from Bangalore rode his luck on his way to 110 in India's 342 for five in reply to Australia's 572 for seven declared at third day stumps in the fourth and final Test.

He shared in a 141-run stand for the third wicket with skipper Virat Kohli, who compiled his fourth ton of the series.

Rahul endured a horror Test debut in the third Melbourne Test, scoring three and one and he also made a hash of a catch when Chris Rogers was on 19 on the way to 95 in the first innings in Sydney.

"I'd say I'm more relieved than proud of myself," Rahul said.

"It was a nightmare debut (in Melbourne) and it didn't make my life easier coming here.

"I just kept telling myself the only way from here is up.

"I'm happy with the way I played and hopefully I continue the same way and keep getting runs for my country."

Rahul, who was promoted to open the innings with Murali Vijay, had to bat with patience after seeing out a challenging 25 overs on Wednesday's second day and he batted for a total of 355 minutes and faced 262 balls for his ton.

"Batting up the order gave me a little bit more time for myself and it was a very conscious effort to take my time and get over those early nerves," he said.

"The wicket was pretty slow and the Australian bowlers made it so much more harder by giving nothing away.

"I just kept telling myself to bat through the first session and come out in the second session and get more runs.

Rahul offered three 'lives' on 41, 42 and 46 and survived a skied chance off Australia skipper Steve Smith, who appeared to blame the aerial "spidercam" for missing the catch.

He also had a lucky escape on 42 when he charged down the pitch for a run and was sent back by Kohli only to tumble to the ground and lose his bat.

Yet he still managed to scramble to safety and beat Brad Haddin's delayed throw to the non-striker's end.

"I wasn't worried about what happened before. I could have so easily played a wrong shot after the dropped catch and gotten out," he said.

"I'm very happy I batted through it and stuck it out."

Rahul was finally out in the 87th over when he skied an attempted pull shot and was caught by Mitchell Starc off his own bowling.

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