Ajinkya Rahane played with intent, says Sanjay Bangar

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NOTTINGHAM: Ajinkya Rahane has been trying a few things of late to regain the quality that made him one of the mainstays of the Indian middle-order over the years.

Be it a chat with Sachin Tendulkar or replaying those innings where he has scored runs in overseas conditions, the Mumbai batsman tried everything in a bid to find his form. And after the disappointment of Birmingham and Lord’s, the Indian vice-captain found his touch during the course of a classy 81 here at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

While Rahane said that it was his mental preparation after the Lord’s Test that helped him, the batting coach of the Indian team, Sanjay Bangar also attributed it to the confidence that was reposed in him by the team management. “Ravi (Shastri) coming out and saying that he is still the pillar of Indian batting might have done a whole lot of good for his confidence,” Bangar said, explaining the middle-order batsman’s success in the first innings here.

As much as Rahane’s effort was about overcoming the demons of the mind, there were a few technical adjustments made that made him make a fight of it. “These guys are world-class players, even though they’re in different conditions. With the ball moving around, I thought that he left the ball a little bit better than he has done and made us go to him a little bit more… Naturally, Indian players are good off their legs and off their stumps most of the time,” England’s stand-out bowler for the day, Chris Woakes gave an insight into Rahane’s performance.

When Rahane himself spoke to bcci.tv after the end of the day, he said it was the “intent” that made a difference. Even though Rahane left a number of deliveries, he was quick to pounce on every scoring opportunity, skipper Virat Kohli at the other end egging him on. “The partnership he had with Virat, they played with intent. The run rate that they maintained throughout was exceptional and that’s why we could put up close to 310 by day end,” Bangar said.

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