Legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was all praise for the Indian team after their stunning comeback-win against Australia in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. While Tendulkar gave majority of the credit to stand-in skipper Ainkya Rahane for not only leading the side with tactical brilliance but also creating the base of India’s victory with a first innings ton, he did not forget to mention the support he received from the bowling unit led by Jasprit Bumrah.
Tendulkar said Bumrah has delivered for India whenever the chips are down and that’s the hallmark of a champion bowler.
“In the fast bowling department, Bumrah as the leader of the attack has taken more responsibility and whenever the chips are down, he has pushed himself harder. That’s the sign of a champion bowler,” Tendulkar told PTI.
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Bumrah picked up 4 for 56 as India bowled Australia out for 195 in the first innings. India’s pace spearhead then picked up two wickets including the important one of Steve Smith in the second innings to give India the advantage.
Sachin also had encouraging words for debutant seamer Mohammed Siraj, who returned with 2 for 40 and 3 for 37 in the Boxing Day Test.
“Let’s also not forget how Siraj has also bowled. It did not appear to me that he was playing his first Test match,” said the man, who has played 200 Tests.
“The way he bowled his first over and then built it up gradually but never did it look that he was playing his first match. The plans were well thought out. He executed it well. Both debutants were comfortable in execution of their plans.”
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Rahane’s knock of 112, according to Tendulkar, was a perfect blend of caution and aggression.
“I thought Ajinkya batted brilliantly. He was calm, relaxed and composed. He had aggressive intent but aggression was rightly balanced by calmness and surety.
“So he did not miss opportunities when a boundary ball was there. And when one had to be patient, he was patient. The intent was very good.” He didn’t forget to mention pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah’s contribution in the victory.
One of the biggest reasons for India’s victory, according to Tendulkar, was the presence of three multi-dimensional cricketers in the middle and lower-middle order.
“Jadeja has batted well and it worked. We keep talking about five bowlers, but having Rishabh Pant at No. 6, Jadeja at No. 7 and Ashwin as No. 8 with four hundreds also helps.
“That partnership between Jadeja and Ajinkya was crucial. They added invaluable runs and that put them under pressure. Also crucial were runs that Pant was able to score,” he concluded.
With the series now locked at 1-1, India will face Australia in the third Test in Sydney, starting from January 7.
(With PTI inputs)