Lokesh Rahul slams ton on debut, says satisfied with the way he carried on and stayed not out

KL RahulHarare: Lokesh Rahul slammed a century (100 off 115 balls) in his maiden ODI against Zimbabwe at Harare on Saturday that not only helped India register a nine-wicket victory over the hosts to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series but also put him in the elite list of cricketers to have scored a ton on his debut. He became only the 11th cricketer to break into the list.

Rahul, who was the player of the match for his century, said, "I enjoyed my batting. The wicket was tough, so I couldn't be complacent. I wanted to play out the new ball and then take it from there. I'm really satisfied with the way I carried on and stayed not out in the end. I just got told by the manager that I was the first Indian to get a century on debut. I wasn't thinking much. There was just one way to get to a century. I wanted to hold my shape and just hit it. There are five more games, it's a sporty wicket. This is my first tour with the ODI team and I'm loving it so far.”

Indian skipper MS Dhoni said, “It was a very good performance. I felt the fast bowlers did well and were backed by the spinners, even though there wasn't much help for them. A win first up is important in a three-game series. The batsmen did a very good job, but the bowlers laid the ground work.”

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe skipper Graeme Cremer, said, “We didn't get enough runs. Maybe if we would have got to 220, it could have been a different story. We lost a couple of wickets to good balls, but few of the guys didn't kick on after getting 20s and 30s. Indian batsmen showed how easy batting can get once you get in. Our seamers bowled well, but it just didn't go our way. We know we're much better than that, and we can hopefully win the next game to make the third ODI a final.”