Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has lauded Ajinkya Rahane’s captaincy, saying India’s stand-in skipper is a cricket savvy guy and the visitors India have shown character under his leadership in absence of Virat Kohli, who is on paternity leave.
Shoaib Akhtar was in awe of Ajinkya Rahane’s on-field character, captaincy and field placements during the 2nd Boxing Day Test against Australia in Melbourne.
Shoaib Akhtar: Ajinkya Rahane Is A Sensible Cricket Savvy Guy Who Did An Excellent Job As Captain
Ajinkya Rahane has taken over the charge of Indian Test team in the absence of regular captain Virat Kohli, who returned back after the conclusion of the first Test to attend the birth of his first child. Going into the match, India were under a lot of pressure due to their shameful performance in the Adelaide Test where they registered lowest-ever Test score of 36 in 2nd innings.
In a true show of character, Ajinkya Rahane built partnerships one after another to take India to a position of strength from where they can smell a possible victory now.
“I get happy to see the character of teams. One man takes the onus of changing the scenario of the match. Team India has regrouped and smashed Australia. They have also shown the world that they have the power to regroup,” Shoaib Akhtar said on his Youtube channel.
“This is the character of a team under a captain like Ajinkya Rahane. Rahane, who is a Maharashtrian, is a sensible, very cricket savvy guy and did very good captaincy,” Shoaib Akhtar added.
Ajinkya Rahane’s captaincy, bowling changes, field placements, positivity and calmness was a reason why India could bundle out Australia for 195 in their first innings. The team also needed Ajinkya Rahane the batsman to shine in a critical situation and he led from the front with a splendid century.
Shoaib Akhtar: Ajinkya Rahane Was Calm Under Pressure And Shown Maturity
Australia was dismissed for 195 in the absence of Mohammed Shami as Jasprit Bumrah picked four wickets alongside Ravichandran Ashwin’s three and debutant pacer Mohammed Siraj’s two scalps.
“You can see his bowling changes, the way bowlers responded. Rahane was calm under pressure and did perfect maneuvering in field placements. Rahane has shown maturity.”
“Teams build on the characters of captains, bowlers respond, batting line-up charges in. Rishabh Pant played a handy cameo but Jadeja was effective. You have to praise Rahane for his knock of 104 runs and bringing India in the driver’s seat vs Australia,” Shoaib Akhtar further said.
India scored 326 in their first essay courtesy Ajinkya Rahane’s 112 and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s 57. The all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja who picked one wicket in the first innings was the wrecker in chief in Australia’s 2nd innings picking 2 wickets as Australia are struggling at 133/6 in 66 overs at end of 3rd day’s play at stumps.
Moreover, Australia lead by two runs but India have a problem as Umesh Yadav had suffered an injury and was unable to bowl after sending down 3.3 overs.