Ranchi: India batting coach Vikram Rathour on Saturday said that Ajinkya Rahane showed great intent on day one of the third Test match against South Africa.
"Ajinkya showed great intent today. Whenever he bats with this intent, he looks a really good player," said Rathour in the post-match press conference.
Rahane and Rohit Sharma amassed 83 and 117 runs respectively before the day was called off due to rain.
During his brilliant innings, Sharma broke the record for registering the most number of sixes in a bilateral Test series. He has now smashed 16 sixes in the entire series, surpassing West Indies' batsman Shimron Hetmyer, who had 15 sixes in the series against Bangladesh in 2018/19.
Rathour praised Sharma saying that the 32-year-old batsman survived well during the initial overs of the match.
"As I said, they were bowling in good areas and there was some help in the wicket. So, as a batsman, you have to survive during that time, which Rohit did very well," said he.
After reaching the 100-run mark, Sharma also became only the second Indian opener to score three or more centuries in a Test series. Sunil Gavaskar is the only previous Indian to do so in three different series.
Rathour feels that Kagiso Rabada, who took two wickets on day one, bowled on great areas.
"Rabada is one of the better bowlers in the world at the moment and today he showed why he is rated so high. He bowled great areas today. And that is what good batters need to do in Test cricket, you need to survive those spells," said Rathour.
India will resume their first innings on day two from 224/3.
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Both Rohit (left hamstring) and Ishant (side strain) are at the NCA undergoing rehabilitation, but the BCCI is yet to announce when the duo would reach Australia.
Early season pitches in South Africa tend to give some help to both pace and spin, so it is possible that the matches could provide a reasonable contest between bat and ball instead of providing feasts of attacking batting.
For a series that was hastily arranged with a view to just getting back to playing some cricket, it's become about everything else too.