Eyeing a quick finish: Rahul

Eyeing a quick finish: Rahul

Centurion KL Rahul exuded confidence that Karnataka were in a position from where they can finish off the Ranji Trophy final in their favour on the fourth day itself.

Having ended the third day on 474 for seven, Karnataka now enjoy a lead of 169 runs. “The wicket is slowing down and the odd ball is starting to turn a little bit. We have the advantage right now of around 170 runs. We’re looking to get as many runs as possible tomorrow. Hopefully, we can get them out cheaply and finish the game tomorrow,” said Rahul whose 131 was his third century of the season.

Uthappa, who contributed a crucial 72, thought in a similar line. “Firstly, we’re in a very strong position,” he noted. “The wicket is getting lower and slower and if we can get to 250-run lead that will put us in a commanding situation. So, the first goal is to get that 30 runs to make it 200-run lead and take it from there. We’ve got guys to take us a long way and get us quick runs and that should be enough to seal the game from our end,” he analysed.

While maintaining that it wasn’t hard to play the spinners, Uthappa felt getting runs was becoming a difficult task.

“Well, it’s (playing spinners) not necessarily hard but the ball is turning, but it’s more slow turn. It’s not vicious but the wicket is very dry. And since the ball is coming slowly off the wicket it’s not that difficult to negotiate.

“We were discussing just a while ago that it’s a wicket where it’s not just easy to get runs on but also difficult to get wickets. So it’s that kind of a wicket where you really need to work hard. We’re the team who got 244 runs after 91 overs and we had to play big shots to get those runs. So, I think looking at that side, there is a little bit in the wicket but it’s going to be difficult,” he reasoned.

When Rahul reached 127, he became only the second Karnataka batsman after Vijay Bharadwaj to accumulate 1000 or more runs in a season. “I started the season thinking I should get a lot of runs,” he began.

“I am happy that I’ve got 1000 runs and I am just hoping that we can also win the tournament and be Ranji Trophy champions. Before the Ranji Trophy, I played three Duleep Trophy games and didn’t get a lot of runs. I was all over the place when it came to my batting and I was not confident.

“I was getting those starts but not converting them. I think it was all mental part... I was getting to 30s but was failing to go on to get big scores. My team-mates and coaches helped me. I didn’t really do anything different this season. I did the same thing that I’ve been doing the last two years. Just one of those seasons where I really got lucky I performed well.”

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