After scoring his seventh Test century to put the tourists in a commanding position in the second Test against West Indies, India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has said that he never enters the field with the intention of scoring hundreds but instead he focuses on getting his 'process and preparation' right before heading into a match.
"Whether we play aboard or India, what matter to me is process and preparation. I never think about scoring hundreds. Results will follow automatically if I prepare well or my process is right. But scoring hundred here was special," Rahane told reporters after day three's play ended prematurely because of incessant rain.
India continued their ascendency over West Indies as batting mainstay Rahane (108) powered the tourists to a monster lead of 304 when they declared their first innings at 500-9 on the rain-interrupted third day at Sabina Park, Jamaica.
However, persistent rain prevented any play after tea and the threat of tropical storm still looms largely over the fourth day.
"Frankly speaking, I was not thinking about my hundred," he said. "When (Amit) Mishra and (Mohammed) Shami got out, I told Umesh (Yadav) to play normal cricket. Just give your 100% whether defending or playing a shot. When I was 84-85, I wanted to play normal cricket, but the offie brought his long-off in and I wanted to clear the fielder. When I was on 95, (I told Umesh) just play normal cricket, and once I get my hundred, we'll play some shots."
The 28-year-old batsman also praised West Indies bowlers, especially their captain Jason Holder, for a disciplined performance which kept the tourists scoring rate down but he insisted that his side would be able to force a win with two days of play left.
"We were not thinking about the weather," Rahane said. "Initially, in the morning, we wanted to play normal cricket. Unfortunately, Wriddhiman (Saha) got out just before lunch. That partnership was really important for us. The plan was to bat once and bat long, and I think we did that. There's still some help for the fast bowlers in the wicket, and I thought Holder bowled a very good spell before lunch. He bowled pretty well. After lunch, the plan was to play positive and try and get a 300-plus lead. Unfortunately, the rain came in, that's not something we can control."
Observing that the pitch still remains conducive for fast bowlers, Rahane said that his side's bowlers need to bowl a disciplined line and length to bowl out the opposition in the second innings.
India are aiming to extend their domination and take a 2-0 lead in the four-match series. The Virat Kohli-led side won the opening Test by an innings and 92 runs in Antigua.