Speaking after India’s win, Rahul was asked about how good he felt his hundred was. He responded, “Right up there in terms of the conditions, the wicket and how challenging the bowling was. I was happy that I could get a hundred and put my team in a winning position.” Rahul added about his innings, “The key to Test-match batting is leaving balls outside off. I am enjoying it, enjoying tiring the bowlers. Need to do the same thing at the Wanderers.”
Rahul also admitted that it was a good toss to win for India and added, “Particularly after how the pitch behaved on days three and four when the cracks opened up.”
2021 was a fantastic year for India in the Test format. Barring the disappointment in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, they defeated Australia in Australia again and were 2-1 in England when the final Test was called off due to COVID-19. Sharing his views on 2021, Rahul agreed, “It will go down as one of the greatest years in Indian cricket, particularly Test cricket. We are a happy dressing room. Put in a lot of effort in the two weeks leading to the Test. We shared our experiences from the past tours. It was all about training, mindset, preparation and grit.”
Apart from Rahul, Indian pacers played a key role in the team’s historic triumph. Praising Mohammed Shami and co, the 29-year-old, “Bumrah, Shami and Siraj bowled with a lot of heart, hit the deck, there was something in there for them in the pitch that got them excited. Let me tell you, facing them in the nets is not easy for us.”
Rahul also shed light about the other senior Rahul in the team, head coach Dravid. Speaking about the legend, the opener said, “When such a legend comes to your dressing room as coach, you talk to him about the art of batting, learn from his experiences. He has brought calm and focus to the dressing room. He made us work hard at the nets.”
India and South Africa will meet in the second Test of the three-match series at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
--By A Cricket Correspondent