New Delhi: The first batsman to notch up a hundred in what has been a particularly low-scoring Test
series against South Africa, India's Ajinkya Rahane said the key to his success was keeping a blank mind and playing one ball at a time.
"When I was batting, I just wanted to stay blank and play one ball at a time. I wanted to build partnerships with the other batsmen. It feels really special that I batted with (Ravichandran) Ashwin while getting my hundred," Rahane, who scored a superb 127, told mediapersons at the end of the day.
"In the first two Test matches, I was looking to play shots initially and that's why I got out. I knew I was batting well. I spoke to Sanjay Bangar and Ravi bhai (Ravi Shastri) and they said 'You have just got to take your time initially, play one ball at a time. If you are 25 to 30, your instincts will take over'."
The stylish batsman said there was nothing wrong with his technique but he was playing too many shots too early.
"There was nothing wrong technically or mentally. I was just playing shots close to my body. I was slightly hurrying as I was trying to play my shots straightaway. Here I just wanted to take my own time and play as close to my body as possible, wait for loose balls. Patience was key over here. Determination and patience helped me in this innings," Rahane revealed the secret of his success.
For Rahane, the hundred is indeed a special one as he made his Test debut at this venue.
"Yes, it is a very special hundred for me because I made my debut in Delhi against Australia. So I had a few things in my mind. Those memories against Australia (were revisited). I was pretty determined to bat well as I knew that I was batting really well in the series.
"But important was to spend time in the middle and later on look for big innings. So really happy for the hundred but especially for the partnerships, which I got with Ashwin, Virat and Jadeja. That took us to 330 plus," said the soft-spoken Rahane.
Rahane also toed the team line that they did not discuss about the pitch conditions.
"We were not thinking about that. In the dressing room, we are not talking about the wickets. It is important for us to win the match and win the series. There is nothing wrong with the wicket. You should give credit to our bowlers especially Umesh and Ishant.
"That three-over spells each spells from both of them was pretty crucial. Because in the dressing room, we never think about how good or bad the wicket is. It's team effort that we played really well," said Rahane.