Lokesh Rahul seeks second innings redemption in Dharamsala
By Amlan Chakraborty
DHARAMSALA, India (Reuters) - India opener Lokesh Rahul is determined to make amends in the second innings after failing to convert a fifty into a century for the fifth time in the ongoing series against Australia.
After making his test debut in late 2014, Rahul converted his first three fifties into hundreds and went on to cement his place at the top of the order.
His elegant 60 on Sunday, however, was his fifth failure in the current four-test series to reach triple figures after passing the half-century mark.
"Not regretting anything but a little disappointed that I haven't been able to convert the starts into big runs for my team," the opener said after India reached 248-6 in reply to Australia's first innings total of 300.
"As an opening batsman, it's my responsibility to spend as much time in the middle as I can and try and get big scores in the first innings so that we don't have to bat in the second innings."
Among his compatriots, only Cheteshwar Pujara (405) has scored more runs than Rahul (342) in the series and the opener reckoned a fifth test century may not be too far away.
"I thoroughly enjoyed batting (in this series). Hopefully one more good knock and the second innings might be the time."
Rahul hit nine boundaries and a six before falling to Pat Cummins, who bowled with considerable hostility in the morning. Rahul, whose hook shot was caught by David Warner, said it was the toughest session he had endured in his career.
"Horrible execution for sure," the batsman said of his dismissal.
"I had batted in the middle for a long time and I thought I could take him on...
"The intent was right... (It) Did not go my way but maybe in the second innings, I can get him away. I will go out with positive intent in the second innings."
With regular skipper and batting mainstay Virat Kohli missing the match with a shoulder injury, Rahul said it is important others step up and perform.
"He always sets great examples for us and he leads from the front," he said of Kohli.
"We need to learn to put our hands up and take the pressure and the responsibility. This game is a good opportunity for the rest of the guys to stand up and be counted."
(Editing by Toby Davis)