But, as has often been the case in a Test career that has not yet fully taken flight, he fell before he could make the start count for something substantial. “Very disappointed, but there are a lot of things I’m doing right,” Rahul said after play. “Just need to keep my head down and show some patience.”
“I just have to prolong the good things I’m doing till I get to 35-45. I’m batting well, I looked comfortable in both the innings and my headspace is very good. Happy about a lot of things,” he said.
Many of these downfalls for Rahul have been a consequence of poor shot selection, and Saturday was no different. Having cracked off-spinner Roston Chase for a four square of the wicket at the start of the 30th over, Rahul paid the price for over-ambition, when he attempted a paddle sweep, after getting across his stumps next ball. In doing so, he exposed all three of them and failed to connect with the shot, letting the ball hit timber, an ICC report said.
It wasn’t quite a prudent choice on the third day of a Test match, when batting conditions are arguably at their most pristine. But Rahul said he was disappointed with the execution and not the intent.
“Sometimes, when you plan a sweep or a paddle-sweep, there is a certain percentage of premeditation. I had played the off-spinner for 5-6 overs and I knew the lines he was bowling,” Rahul said.
“I was thinking about runs, and since I hit him for a boundary before the wicket-taking ball, I knew he would try to bowl a better length, which would be easy for me to paddle. Unfortunately, I didn’t execute the shot really well,’ Rahul said.
“Lot of things seem right when they come off. If they don’t, you can sit and dissect on a lot of things. Unfortunately, it’s a battle he won,” he said.
Rahul also pinned his faith in the duo of Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, to haul the team to a match-winning total. The two batsmen stitched together a century stand after coming together at 81/3. By stumps, they had taken India to a comfortable lead of 260 and Rahul backed them to build on that.
“Eighty for three doesn’t look that good on the scoreboard, so it was important that Ajinkya and Virat stitched a partnership,” he said. “The spell from Roach was really good, and Windies put some pressure on us. They (Kohli and Rahane) stayed patient and played the little spell out, and later the runs came on.”
“We know they’re really good batsmen and are really skilled. Once they’re set, they will get a lot of runs and that’s what they did. Hopefully, tomorrow they come out and continue for a longer time,” Rahul added. (UNI)