India’s eight-wicket win in the Melbourne Test, which came after a historic low of being bowled out for 36 runs in the second innings at Adelaide is being seen by many as one of the biggest comebacks for India in its Test history.
Not just the manner of the loss in the first Test, India had their backs to the wall as skipper Virat Kohli left for home on paternity leave and the team was yet to find the right combination.
But the team managed to respond to stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane’s calm and composed leadership style. Off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who is enjoying one his best series away from the sub-continent, spoke about how the team managed to lift itself after the Adelaide defeat.
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“The best thing that we did was just walk away from that game — in Adelaide — and we said that it was just one of those unfortunate days and the batting unit definitely did take responsibility for it. Most importantly, losing Virat was not easy but the discussion we had around it and the team-building exercises that we did through that phase from Adelaide to Melbourne was very crucial and Jinks was very, very calm and balanced which gave many of us the launch-pad to go out there and express ourselves after that defeat,” Ashwin said in a video posted by BCCI.
Ashwin praised Rahane for his great batting in the first innings called his century one of the finest knocks he has seen.
“Many of us have played for a while now and we have had some special wins but if I had to pick one that would be extremely special is this one for a lot of reasons. This team minus Virat, the batting giant that India had over the last decade or so, is not that easy and Jinks stood up and that is one of the finest cricketing knocks I have seen,” he added.
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Cheteshwar Pujara also termed it a special win, adding that it goes into his list of top five victories that he has been a part of.
“I think this will definitely be in one of the top five victories I have been part of and the overseas victories are always special. The way Jinks batted in the first innings, and also in the second innings, and also the way bowlers bowled after losing Umesh, we were only left with four bowlers but they bowled their heart out. All the guys wanted to win. We were really hurt after the first loss and now the series is level,” Pujara said.
Ravindra Jadeja said he wants the team to keep the momentum going. “This is going to be a special victory for us as a team because we were one down. In the first game, we lost badly. So, I think we came with a good spirit and attitude and as a team, we played very good cricket. Everyone is looking in good form, batsmen are scoring runs, bowlers are taking wickets. Hopefully, we continue the same momentum and hopefully, win the next game,” Jadeja said.