Former England bowler and commentator Isa Guha lauded stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane for leading Team India to a promising victory in the Boxing Day Test against Australia in Melbourne last on Tuesday.
Rahane stepped into Virat Kohli’s shoes after the latter returned home after the 1st Test to be with his wife and family for the birth of his first child. Rahane smashed a match-winning hundred and made some pivotal changes in team’s bowling formats and field placements to outclass the Aussies in their own den. These cumulated decisions helped India defeat Australia by 8 wickets and equalize the series 1-1.
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Speaking to Sports Today, Guha said that Rahane kept his calm throughout the game and made sure that the tourists must not panic after the Adelaide horror.
“If there was anyone who would calm the dressing room and make sure India didn’t panic after the devastation at Adelaide, it was going to be Ajinkya Rahane. With Virat Kohli going home and India losing Mohammed Shami, India still came together incredibly well.
“Ajinkya Rahane has a quiet air of confidence about him. He has been successful many times in the past but he hasn’t performed as well as we would have liked in the last few years. To be able to lead in the way he did, particularly with his performance it was incredibly measured. It wasn’t like his previous century at the G when he scored with a higher strike rate. It was way more disciplined, he left balls outside the off-stump. He gave himself time and eventually when the ball was there to be hit, he hit it,” Isa Guha told Sports Today.
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The cricketer-turned-commentator further described the difference between the leadership of Kohli and Rahane. She explained how the tourists pushed themselves to bring out something special to beat Australia.
“There were some difficult moments, some of the shots we saw were incredibly classy and it embodies the man. Virat Kohli leads in his way, Rahane leads in his own way through his character which is more quiet and reserved. He was delegating for the rest of the team, I got the vibe that it was a galvanized group because Virat Kohli wasn’t there and they knew they needed to put out something special to be able to beat Australia and you can only do that as a team,” Isa Guha further said.