AUS vs IND: Ravi Shastri hails India's comeback, lauds Ajinkya Rahane

India coach Ravi Shastri felt Ajinkya Rahane's calm and quiet leadership helped the bowlers and debutants Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj.

Ravi Shastri (right) praised Ajinkya Rahane saying the skipper is a very shrewd leader and a good reader of the game.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Head coach Ravi Shastri termed India’s eight-wicket win in Melbourne as one of the best comebacks in the history of Test cricket. The win came on the back of an eight-wicket loss in the first Test in Adelaide last week in which India was bowled out for 36 in the second innings - its lowest total in Test cricket.

“I think this will go down in the annals of Indian cricket or world cricket, as one of the great comebacks in the history of the game," said Shastri after the match.

"To be rolled over for 36 and three days later to get up and be ready to punch was outstanding. The boys deserve all the credit for the character they showed."

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The former India captain also heaped praises on stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane’s all-round performance, calling his ton in the first innings as a pivotal moment in the match and his leadership qualities.

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Ravi Shastri said Ajinkya Rahane's (in frame) century was the turning point of the match.   -  GETTY IMAGES



“The innings of Ajinkya Rahane’s was the turning point. The discipline he showed on a big stage in a massive arena as captain of the team batting at number four. When he went in, we were (2-61) and to bat six hours on probably the toughest day to bat. It was overcast the whole day and, the sun did not come out at all. Unbelievable concentration!,” Shastri explained.

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Commenting on Rahane’s captaincy, Shastri added, “He is a shrewd leader who has a good understanding and reading of the game. His calm composure out there in the middle helped the debutants and bowlers as well. He was a calming influence.”

After making four changes ahead of the second Test, Shastri credited marked out the impressive performance of debutants Shubhman Gill and Mohammed Siraj.

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File Photo of Ajinkya Rahane (left) and Virat Kohli from India's 2018-19 Tour of Australia.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

“When you saw these two debutants show that kind of maturity, flair and discipline there, it was great to see. Today Siraj's effort was outstanding actually. He might not have the numbers to show for it but the discipline and the ability to bowl long spells, the maturity he showed for someone playing his first Test in doing the job he had to do once we lost Umesh (Yadav), was outstanding. And then Shubman going and playing with that kind of flair, later on, was great to see.”

A key reason that helped India's cause at the MCG was its decision to play five bowlers with the inclusion of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja as it helped India soften the blow of Umesh Yadav's injury during the second innings. Shastri said it is something the team will stick to going into the third Test as well.

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"We will stick to five bowlers. When you play overseas, there is a chance of one of the bowlers getting injured as you saw with Umesh. With Jadeja, it gives better balance and, it also gives fast bowlers some respite with Jaddu and Ash (Ashwin) doing the bowling," Shastri explained.

 

 

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