Amre is of the view that this maiden Test ton would act as the stepping stone and cement the youngster's Test spot after he has had a chequered beginning.
     
"He had to wait for 16 Tests (as a reserve) for his first Test appearance (against Australia at Delhi last year when he fell for 7 after a poor shot). He was then dropped and it was a difficult phase in his career," said Amre, who has guided Rahane since he was 17.
     
The 25-year-old Rahane hit a superb 118 in only his fifth Test and also forged a century stand by weathering the second new ball in the company of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to help India take a big first innings lead over New Zealand.
     
"He had to wait for his chance and he did very well in South Africa when he got it. To come off from that tour with a plus-60 average is great. And this century is extremely important for his career. He timed the ball exquisitely," said the former Mumbai-born cricketer who played for Railways in Ranji Trophy.
     
Amre, who made a fine hundred on Test debut in Durban in 1992, recalled how he had asked Rahane to undergo a short coaching stint before the latter got the golden chance to play in his maiden Test match against Australia.
     
It apparently worked as the youngster made a good half century for Mumbai (83) against Rest of India in the subsequent Irani Cup game but flopped by playing an extravagant shot in his first Test at Delhi and lost his spot in the next series against the West Indies.
     
"I saw that and said to myself it's not the Ajinkya I know. That was the time he needed some guidance. But I am a firm believer like my (Shardashram) coach (Ramakant) Achrekar sir in not changing a player's technique.
     
"He possesses fine technique and his basics are strong," said Amre under whom Rahane had practised for 14 days before leaving for South Africa and for an additional 10 days before departing for New Zealand.

 (Agencies)

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