India stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane became the first recipient of the prestigious Mullagh Medal after India beat Australia by 8 wickets in the second Test match in Melbourne to level the four-match series 1-1.
Johnny Mullagh Medal is a tribute to honour the captain of Australia’s first sporting team to tour internationally. Mullagh was the leader of the 1868 Aborginal tour to the United Kingdom.
Cricket Australia had earlier announced that the Player of the match of the Boxing Day Test will be awarded with Mullagh Medal.
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“The proud recipient and the inaugural winner of the Mullagh Medal – #TeamIndia Captain Ajinkya Rahen,” tweeted BCCI.
Rahane was adjudged Player of the Match for his stunning hundred (112) in the first innings which ensured India took a healthy 131-run lead after bowling Australia out for 195.
Rahane also remained unbeaten on 27 after they lost two early wickets of Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara while chasing 70 for victory on Day 4.
India bounced back without superstar and batting maintstay Kohli, who has returned home for the birth of his first child.
Australia resumed their second innings on day four on 133 for six with a two-run lead, and their hopes resting on 21-year-old rookie all-rounder Cameron Green.
He made 45 as they battled to 200 before tail-ender Josh Hazlewood was the last man to fall before lunch.
Mohammed Siraj, on debut, took 3-37 with Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin grabbing two each.
Rahane and another impressive debutant, Shubman Gill (35) then saw India home, but not before some nervous moments.
Mitchell Starc got a nick from the out-of-form Mayank Agarwal (5), which Tim Paine caught, then Pat Cummins snared Cheteshwar Pujara for three, edged to Green at gully.
It left India on 19 for two before they regained their composure to seal the win.
The third Test is due to start on January 7 in Sydney.