Team India captain Rohit Sharma said on Saturday that he feels fellow batsman Ajinkya Rahane has always made his presence felt and proved his mettle as a batsman whenever the team has been in need. The two built-up a 162-run partnership in the first day of second Test, with India closing their innings at 300 runs with the loss of six wickets at stumps, PTI reported.

"Ajinkya, he is one of our top players. He has done extremely well and played some crucial knocks (over the years). He has time and again shown that when the team needs a batsman to stand up, he has done that many times," Sharma, who scored a century on the first day, was quoted by PTI as saying about the gritty top-order veteran.

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Noting the importance of building a partnership, especially after the loss of three wickets before lunch, the skipper praised Rahane for displaying his calibre once again in the tricky situation, which fired up the Indian innings.

He further expressed signs of annoyance over questions rising regarding Rahane’s form due to the latter not getting runs in seven consequent innings, saying he did not understand why the talks were taking place.

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Sharma said he felt 350 runs would a good total to defend on the surface, adding his expectation of latter batsmen such as Rishabh Pant and Axar Patel to bat as long as possible.

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