India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane believes the team’s batsmen need to be patient and should take responsibility to score big runs on slow tracks when they come up against hosts West Indies in the first Test cricket match starting in Antigua on Thursday.
“I think as a batting unit we have been doing really well. As much as we learnt from the South Africa series, it is all about focussing on this series now. Patience will be the key as a batting unit,” Rahane told reporters on Monday.
“Once you get set it is important to make each and every session count, because we will have to give time for our bowlers. It is not easy to take 20 wickets on these slower tracks,” the middle-order batsman added.
“As a batting unit we will have to take responsibility and I think one or two batsmen will have to get set and score big here.”
Both practice games against the West Indies Board President XI resulted in a draw with the Indian batsmen and bowlers getting a chance to test their skills ahead of the four match Test series.
“We have discussed about all these factors as a batting unit. We have talked about how to bat on the slower tracks. Patience will be the key here and it is not going to be easy to score runs for the batsmen,” he said.
“But if you focus and concentrate well, once you get settled it will be very easy to bat on. Even the bowlers have to bowl very disciplined line and lengths here and be patient.”
The 28-year-old added that one can expect a 250-ball century in slow pitches here instead of a 150-ball ton.
“If you are used to getting 100 off 150 balls, maybe here you will have to get 100 off 250 balls. So, as a batsman it is important to play at least 200-plus balls here,” he said.
“I think we will get similar tracks (in the Tests) but here we will have to wait until July 21 to see how the wicket finally looks like. But in St. Kitts it was a really slow track, a bit similar to Indian wickets and we are preparing for slow tracks in the series.
“So the two practice matches were really crucial for us and this first game will give us momentum,” the Mumbai batsman said.
The right-handed batsman also praised his team’s bowlers for giving their all in the two warm-up games.
“I think all the boys did really well in the two practice games, especially bowlers because wickets were slightly on the slower side. It was very challenging for the bowlers but I felt they bowled really well,” he said.
“Even the spinners did well, Amit Mishra in the first game, then R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja bowled in partnership in the second game.
“I think the bowlers will have to be consistent in their line and length, as well as be patient. They will have to bowl in partnerships on these slow wickets,” Rahane added.