Former Australia captain, Ricky Ponting heaped rich praises on India’s stand-in captain, Ajinkya Rahane. Ponting’s comments came after the Indian bowlers bowled out Australia for 195 on Day 1 of the second Test in Melbourne.
Apart from the toss, India dominated most of the day and would be proud of themselves- the Adelaide debacle seems to move far away from the memories. Ponting lauded Rahane’s captaincy on Boxing Day as not only India was reeling from the shameful batting performance in Adelaide, but also they were without their charismatic skipper, Virat Kohli.
“(Rahane’s captaincy) has been brilliant so far. We were all a bit worried about how they were going to pick themselves up after Adelaide. I think they looked potentially better today (under Rahane’s leadership),” Ricky Ponting told cricket.com.au.
The 46-year-old is impressed by Rahane’s on-field tactics- field placements and bowling changes. Ponting pointed out Marnus Labuschagne’s dismissal: the right-hander was caught at the leg gully, which is an unorthodox field position.
Steve Smith was caught at leg slip off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin- the off-spinner gets Smith for the second time in two Tests. Ponting believes that the dismissals of Joe Burns and Cameron Green were also smartly planned by India- for which Ponting gives a lot of credit to India’s interim skipper.
“Rahane’s field placements, bowling changes have all been pretty much spot on. With captaincy, making bowling changes, and changing the field, you need guys to be able to execute well. Some of the wickets they got today, even Smith at leg slip early on, I think that was a set plan. Joe Burns’ dismissal would have been exactly how they wanted it. Cam Green was set up today as well. I think there’s been a lot of planning that’s gone into it and Rahane should take a lot of credit for that,” he added.
India has got right behind Rahane: Ricky Ponting
Ponting has observed Rahane as a smart cricketer and a good human being during his time as the coach of the Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2020. The 3-time World Cup winner feels that the Indian team is sticking together after the loss in the first Test and have the backing of their temporary leader.
“We had him at Delhi this year (in the IPL). He’s a very smart cricketer, he’s a terrific bloke, works exceptionally hard on his own game but it just seems today the Indian boys have got right in behind him and they’re working for each other which is always good to see,” said the World Cup-winning skipper.