At No. 7, batsmen usually look to survive for as long as possible. Then again, Ajinkya Rahane is not the typical No. 7 batsman. The 25-year-old walked in to bat with India in a tricky spot - at 165/5. Instead of merely nudging the ball around though, he seized control for his side and helped himself to a 158-ball 118 in the second Test against New Zealand at Wellington, on Saturday. (Scorecard)
Rahane came out to the middle at the fall of Rohit Sharma's wicket. While opener Shilkhar Dhawan's 98 had strengthened India's reply to New Zealand's 192, the hosts had struck back with crucial wickets. Rahane though refused to bend over and let the Kiwis take complete control. (Day 2 pics)
With Virat Kohli for company, Rahane set out repairing the damage. The duo put on 63 runs for the sixth wicket before Kohli fell for a well made 38. Rahane, however, was in no mood to let this opportunity slip by as he put his head down and looked to play a long innings. He was joined by skipper MS Dhoni who started in his typically aggressive fashion, striking four consecutive boundaries off Neil Wagner.
The pair had an alliance of over a hundred runs for the seventh wicket. Rahane reached his fifty just before tea of 93 balls and was unbeaten on 64 at the break.
The 25 year-old middle order batsman reached the three-figure mark soon after tea. His hundred came off 149 deliveries and contained 15 boundaries. It was his first century in Tests, in his fifth match and 9th innings. Rahane's previous best was 96 against South Africa in Durban where he was unfortunate to lose out.