Former Pakistan pacer, Shoaib Akhtar heaped rich praises on India’s stand-in captain, Ajinkya Rahane. Akhtar’s comments came after the Indian bowlers bowled out Australia for 195 on Day 1 of the second Test in Melbourne and then on the back of Rahane’s hundred India finished Day 2 in a commanding position.
Akhtar lauded Rahane’s captaincy on Boxing Day as not only India was recovering from the shameful batting performance in Adelaide, but also they were without their regular skipper, Virat Kohli.
The 45-year-old is impressed by Rahane’s on-field tactics – field placements and bowling changes – and off-field man managing skills as the visitors were reeling from the 36 all-out debacle. He has observed the right-hander as a shrewd and knowledgeable person.
In his YouTube video, Shoaib Akhtar said, “I get happy to see the character of teams. One man takes the onus of changing the scenario of the match. Team India has regrouped and smashed Australia. They have also shown the world that they have the power to regroup. This is the character of a team under a captain like Ajinkya Rahane. Rahane, who is a Maharashtrian, is a sensible, very cricket savvy guy and did very good captaincy.”
“You can see his bowling changes, the way bowlers responded. Rahane was calm under pressure and did perfect maneuvering in field placements. Rahane has shown maturity.”
Rahane has brought India in the driver’s seat: Shoaib Akhtar
Akhtar feels that the character of Rahane as the leader of the team has lifted others to perform well. The former speedster pointed out that Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja – two players who didn’t play the first Test – made crucial contributions with the bat.
Rahane’s hundred on the second day followed by Jadeja’s fifty on the third gave India a lead of 131 runs- which is proving to be match-winning as at the time of compiling this report the bowlers have dismissed half of the Australian side and the visitors are inching towards levelling the series
“Teams build on the characters of captains, bowlers respond, batting line-up charges in. Rishabh Pant played a handy cameo, Jadeja was effective. You have to praise Rahane for his knock of 104 runs and bringing India in the driver’s seat vs Australia,” Shoaib Akhtar added.