Ajinkya Rahane continues his consistent performance in the Gandhi – Mandela series. After a patient innings in the ODI series Rahane keeps his content even in the ongoing Test series. While Rahanes partnership with Captain Virat Kohli helped India to set up a mammoth score for the Proteas chase he has also succeeded to hit form in the Test format.
He was the most out-of-form of Indias batsmen coming into this Test match series. In four innings of the series, Rahane had made 39 runs with a best of 15 in Indias first innings of the series opener in Mohali.
However in the fourth Test match Rahane showcased his class with elegance. He scored centuries in both the innings of the match. The Mumbai batsman remained unbeaten at 100 off 206 balls after skipper Virat Kohli decided to declare the innings.
With the second innings hundred decorated with eight boundaries and three sixes, Rahane also became only the fifth Indian batsman to score two centuries in a Test match. Vijay Hazare, Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid and Kohli are the other Indian batsmen who have achieved the feat.
With this hundred Rahane has become the first India to score tons in both the innings of a Test match against SA. It was also the first time when a batsman had scored hundreds in the two innings during a Test match at Kotla. It is the seventh time in the Tests where a batsman could score a century in both the innings.
Rahane scored a brilliant 127 in the first innings to help India put on a formidable total. The right-handers knock was studded with 11 fours and five sixes. Coming in to bat with India reeling at 66/3, Rahane negated South Africas bowling challenge efficiently while wickets kept tumbling at the other end.
His moment of glory came with a well-placed straight drive off Kyle Abbott, prompting the entire Indian dressing room to give him a standing ovation. He opened up from there, hitting offspinner Piedt for two sixes in an over, over mid-wicket and long-off. It was Rahanes first three-figure score at home and fifth overall in 22 Tests.
The Proteas are battling out in the field to avoid further humiliation from the hosts.