“It is a feeling that cannot be expressed in words,” said Ajinkya Rahane on scoring his first Test hundred here on Saturday. “The maiden hundred, it is always a special moment in your career.”

Rahane missed the three-figure mark by four runs in Durban this season but got to his hundred here with an emphatic pull off paceman Corey Anderson.

He admitted that the earlier failure did cross his mind. “But I did not let it affect my batting. My approach was to bat as long as possible, also play my shots.”

The Mumbai batsman acknowledged the roles of batting legends Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in his development. “I was with Sachin paaji during his last two Tests and he encouraged me a lot. He said I had the potential but felt I should work hard on things like my fitness,” Rahane said.

He had learnt much under Dravid playing for the Rajasthan Royals. “Dravid sir has always helped me on my game. I have tried to pick up so many things from him. He was my role model growing up. He has always been an inspiration.”

On the jump from domestic cricket to the international stage, he said: “Your judgment has to be better. You cannot play a stroke off every ball. You have to wait for the loose ball. You have to be patient.”

It’s just my job

New Zealand wicket-keeper Bradley Watling pouched five catches in the Indian innings. He said, “The bowlers do the hard job. They find the edges. I just have to do my job to complete the dismissal. I go with the flow, do not try to analyse my ‘keeping too much.”

Watling said the aggressive partnership between Rahane and Dhoni took the Kiwi bowlers by surprise. He felt the surface had become easier for batting. “But we need to fight in the second innings.”

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