“When we played last time here against Sri lanka, especially after Galle Test match, we decided that using footwork against him [Herath] was very important,” Rahane said on Day 2 after India worked their way to another 600-plus total. “Here again in the first Test, Shikhar [Dhawan] batted really well, but throughout against him and their spinners we wanted to use our footwork so we could get more runs on the backfoot.
“Especially on this kind of wicket, it is very slow and dry, so we knew that if we use our footwork we will get more runs on the backfoot. So when I went in to bat with Pujara, we decided to change our momentum because Virat got out and we wanted to put pressure back on them and that’s what we did. So we knew using footwork we would get more runs on the front foot as well as the backfoot.”
“Because the same thinking was in Melbourne in Australia, we wanted to dominate them and that’s what we did. But here the challenge was slightly different, a spin-friendly wicket and we knew that if we get a good partnership – because I was talking to Virat in the dressing-room before lunch that if we get a 150-200 partnership, one big partnership, they will be on the back foot and that’s what actually happened, me and Pujara got that partnership.
“It was all about mindset coming into this game, we knew that they will give us a spin track and I think after day one we knew that the ball will… I mean its not going to be easy for batsmen. I was visualising even in dressing room and also in my room, just thinking about what are the important, good shots on this wicket and how I am going to dominate their spinners. It was one of the best innings against spinners,” he added.