Indian middle-order batter Ajinkya Rahane has provided an encouraging news regarding his finger injury that he suffered during the first innings of the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia at the Kennington Oval. The right-handed batter admitted that the injury became painful but manageable to play with.
Rahane was India's top-scorer in the first innings, hitting a gritty 89 before Cameron Green's outstanding catch at gully ended his stay. The veteran cricketer also shared a 109-run partnership with Shardul Thakur to lift India from 151-6 to 296, thereby reducing the deficit to 173.
Speaking to ICC after the third day's play, Rahane said he was glad by the way he batted, but hoped to get the score to a range of 300-320. The 35-year-old reckons an India win is not completely out of equation, asserting:
"It was painful but quite manageable. I am really happy with that way I batted. We had a good day today, the partnership with (Ravindra) Jadeja and I and then with Shardul (Thakur) and myself was really crucial. We were aiming to get 320 or 330 (runs), but I think overall we had a pretty good day. Bowling wise we bowled really well in the second innings. Everyone bowled really well. (We’ll take it) session by session. We don’t want to look too far ahead, but we’ve seen funny things happen in this game."
Shardul Thakur echoes Ajinkya Rahane's comments:
Bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur echoed Rahane's words, saying that a good partnership can even help India chase 450 and that they will be optimistic heading into day four.
"Well, cricket is a funny game, you can never say what is the right total. One good partnership and you can even chase down 450 or maybe more than that. Last year England chased (almost) 400 and did not lose too many wickets. So that's a positive sign for us. We see a lot of times in Test cricket that game changes within an hour. So yes, we will be optimistic tomorrow going on the field and we'll take it on from there."
Australia's lead has swelled to 296 as they finished 123-4 at Stumps. Marnus Labuschagne, who has 41 in 118 balls, is the well set batter.