Ajinkya Rahane led Team India from the front as the visitors level terms in the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy with two matches still to go. India fought back all the odds to beat Australia by eight wickets within four days in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
India were in the money from ball 1 of the contest sending the hosts on the backfoot. They took a crucial 131-run lead after containing Australia for 195 runs in the first innings before turning out with another impressive effort with the ball to set up a 70-run target. Ajinkya Rahane and Shubman Gill cruised through the target easily to seal the tie.
Gill and Siraj showed character – Ajinkya Rahane
Rahane stole the show with a brilliant century along with contributions from debutants Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj. Both of them looked confident and India’s stand-in skipper has nothing but to praise the youngster duo. Gill chipped in with 80 runs while Siraj scalped five wickets providing a perfect foil to Jasprit Bumrah.
“Really proud of all the players. Played really well. Want to give credit to the debutants Siraj and Gill, the character they showed after the Adelaide loss was great to see. The character was important for us, especially after losing Umesh in the second innings,” Rahane said.
Shubman, we all know his First-class career and in this game, he has shown the intent to play shots at this level. Has shown composure. Siraj has shown that he can bowl with discipline. It’s really difficult for debutants to bowl with discipline but that’s where I think the First-class experience comes in handy,” he added.
Ajinkya Rahane has always been a fan of the five-bowlers strategy which once again came handy in Melbourne. India showed character despite losing Umesh Yadav on day 3 owing to an injury to bowl out Australia for 200 runs. A calm and composed Rahane stressed the areas they need to improve ahead of their next two matches.
“That (five-bowler plan) worked well for us nicely. We were thinking of having an all-rounder and Jadeja has been brilliant for us. The talk was all about showing the attitude and intent on the field. As I said, character. Adelaide was about one hour that took the game away from us. Lots to learn for even now. Australia applied themselves with their last five wickets,” Ajinkya Rahane signed off.