Time is quickly running out for Ajinkya Rahane. It is now or never in many ways for the India batter While he only had a string of low scores against his name in recent innings and many thought that he shouldn’t have even been named in the Playing XI for the Centurion Test match against South Africa, Rahane was clearly desperate to succeed with the bat.
The Mumbai-batter knows that if he fails to score runs, he would not be part of the XI after having been discharged from his vice-captaincy duties already. With Rahane failing to make a significant contribution in recent matches and Shreyas Iyer scoring a hundred on his Test debut and Hanuma Vihari patiently waiting for his turn for now fault of his own, he looked focused and determined to play a long innings in the series opener and one has got to believe, he has been successful so far, ending Day 1 on an unbeaten on 40 from 81 deliveries.
A video that is now doing the rounds on Internet, shows that Rahane kept on reminding himself during the innings to watch the ball till the last moment. The trick seemed to have worked as he did get a start but will now have to refocus again as and when the game starts on Day 2 after the rain has delayed the start of the match.
Check out the video here:
Rahane reminding himself to watch the ball as the bowler runs up makes me realise how cruel cricket can be for such experienced guy pic.twitter.com/3HKhVgMMFc
— Nikhil Dubey (@nikhildubey96) December 26, 2021
Despite Rahane’s 40, the star of the opening day of the Test match has to be India’s KL Rahul who became just the second India opener to score a hundred in South Africa. He along with Mayank Agarwal became the third India opening pair to put on a 100-run stand for the first wicket joining the pairs of Wasim Jaffer- Dinesh Karthik and Gautam Gambhir-Virender Sehwag.
Courtesy of their 117-run stand, India ended Day 1 on 272/3, despite their number 3 Cheteshwar Pujara getting out for a golden duck. Virat Kohli also looked good until he got out to a ball wide outside the off-stump for 35. South Africa pacer Lungi Ngidi has picked all the three wickets to fall on the opening day.