India didn’t have “extra fire” in the lost opening Test against South Africa but a “mental shift” turned things around, said KL Rahul after the visitors won the second game to level the two-match rubber. India had lost the opening Test by an innings and 32 runs in Centurion but the team regrouped to secure a seven-wicket win against South Africa within two days to record a memorable draw here on Thursday.
“I think we weren’t really 100 percent during our last match in terms of batting or bowling. We were prepared, but that extra edge or extra fire was missing, credit to South Africa as well, that they didn’t allow us to reach to that confidence,” the 31-year-old told ‘Star Sports’.
Rahul lauded the team for recovering quickly from the setback.
“There was a little bit of change of the planning and attitude only. I mean we can’t say that we weren’t ready during the last Test match. We were ready but there are situations where the opposition really blasts you out of the Test match or we are not used to it,” Rahul said.
“Since last 4-5 years, we’ve been a team that’s really competed and we have won series outside of India, so we weren’t ready for it and it was a huge hit for us…
“…but it speaks volumes of how much we enjoy playing Test cricket and how much we value playing for our country and how much Test victories outside of India mean to us,” he added.
India faced criticism for being ill-prepared after they were bowled out for 245 and 131 in the two innings in the first Test, while allowing South Africa to score 408 in their first essay.
“…it was just a mental shift during the turnaround time of one day. We were more ready this time and we were ready for a fight. We wanted to get this win and just do our job really well.” Rahul, who scored a memorable hundred in the first Test, admitted that they were not at their best in Centurion.
“They bowled us out very cheaply in both the innings. So, we were really happy that we could bounce off so well.”
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