Kingston (Jamaica), Aug 1: It came a surprise to many that India opener KL Rahul chose to hit a six to complete his century in the 2nd Test against West Indies here yesterday (July 31). But the batsman has revealed the reason for playing the big shot to move from 96 to 102.
24-year-old Rahul brought up his 3rd hundred of his Test career on Sunday to guide India into a commanding position at the end of the second day. The Karnataka right-hander went on to register a career-best 158 as India ended the day at 358/5 with a lead of 162.
When on 96, Rahul chose to reach the three-figure milestone with a 6 off spinner Roston Chase. That was the first 6 of his innings. It was reaching the landmark in Virender Sehwag's style.
In June this year, Rahul, on his ODI debut against Zimbabwe, hit a six to reach a hundred and gave India a 9-wicket victory.
Sehwag had praised Rahul via Twitter, the micro-blogging website, for hitting a 6 to reach both his ODI and Test tons for which the youngster replied that he had learnt it from the Delhi former opener. "@virendersehwag watched and learnt from the best. #hundredwithasix," Rahul wrote on his Twitter page replying to Sehwag.
After the day's play, Rahul was asked as to why he took that route to get to 100 and he said he does not like to be in the 90s for a long time.
"A lot of coaches will say that it (hitting a six) is not the way to do it, but I feel like any big shot you want to play; be it a six or a sweep shot it is more pre-determined than to see after it is released out of the bowler's hand," Rahul told Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) website.
"I played on the bowler's mind. He (Roston Chase) bowled a couple of short balls before that and I thought he would want to toss it up and try and get me forward. That was more about me winning over the bowler's head (mind) than anything else. I don't enjoy being in the 90s, so I try to get out of it quickly. I am happy that it came off," he added.
Rahul is not known to play big hits often but it was one of those days when he was high on confidence and the ball sailed into the stands for a memorable knock.
Former India opener Sehwag had famously reached to his and the country's first-ever triple century with a six off Pakistan's Saqlain Mushtaq in 2004. Again in 2003, Sehwag had tried to get to 200 with a six when on 195 but was caught.