Forner Indian International Pravin Amre has heaped high praise on Indian captain and his student Ajinkya Rahane for the manner in which he aced the dual role of leadership and spearheading the batting-unit in the recently concluded Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
Rahane has come in for huge praise from both fans as well as the pundits of the game for the manner in which he marshaled his troops and also for his defiant hundred in the first innings, one that helped India script a brilliant turnaround and register an eight-wicket win following the shambles in Adelaide.
Rahane, a laid-back personality with a cool and calm demeanor, once again displayed his aggressive captaincy to the hilt courtesy of his imaginative field settings and subtle bowling changes.
Amre, in an exclusive conversation with Times of India, refused to take credit for Rahane’s leadership skills, claiming that he has only coached Ajinkya- the batsman and that he is a natural leader of men.
“If you ask me, I worked only with Ajinkya the batsman. The captaincy or leadership quality is his own. Virat is the captain and when he is not there, Ajinkya took over the duties. So, I will give credit to Ajinkya for being Ajinkya the captain. Be it batting or leading the side, he is so calm. That’s his style. Some are aggressive and some go over the board, but Ajinkya is calm and composed,” Pravin Amre told Timesofindia.com.
“Ajinkya is always ready with the plans. Ajinkya has batted at No. 1 and No. 6 as well. He is always ready to bat at any position. It’s always team first for him. He is always ready to do the job.” he added.
“The best thing I liked is how Ajinkya Rahane backed the two debutants”- Pravin Amre
Pointing out what he liked about Ajinkya Rahane’s captaincy in Melbourne, Amre said that according to him, the best thing he liked was how his student backed the two debutants in Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj.
Both the debutants had a brilliant outing at the MCG. While Gill scored 45 and 35* and impressed everyone with his skills as well as temperament, Mohammed Siraj complemented Jasprit Bumrah beautifully, especially in the second innings when India had lost the services of Umesh Yadav. Siraj claimed a total of five wickets in the game- a feat achieved by only three debutant visiting bowlers in Australia before him.
“The best thing I liked is how Ajinkya backed the two debutants. Backing debutants Gill and Siraj in the crucial Test at MCG was a very big call from Ajinkya. His gut feeling was there that the two youngsters can deliver. Those two guys were waiting for a long time and when they got the opportunity, they grabbed it with both hands. They are fresh and they don’t have any baggage with them,” Amre further told TimesofIndia.com.
”I am glad that Ajinkya has taken that responsibility.”- Pravin Amre
Indian cricket sunk to its lowest point when the national team was knocked over for 36 in the second innings of the Adelaide Test.
With Virat Kohli heading home and Mohammed Shami joining the ever-increasing injury list, India needed someone to rise to the occasion and take hold of the proceedings.
And, Pravin Amre is glad that it was his student Ajinkya Rahane, who stepped up big time to not only help the visitors stage a comeback but also exorcise the demons of Adelaide.
“This is one of the toughest phases for Indian cricket. You lost the first Test and also were all out for 36. Someone had to take that responsibility. I am glad that Ajinkya has taken that responsibility. Team India are missing Virat badly because he is the ultimate run-machine for the team. He has got runs on many tours, including Australia. He went on paternity leave. So, from there Ajinkya has taken on the responsibility and captaincy role really well. He is a captain but it is very important for you to perform as a batsman too,” he said.
“Ajinkya was number one as a captain and as a batsman. He performed the dual role really well. He has done a commendable job. He was involved in three major partnerships and that’s why we got more than 100 runs lead. This was an amazing victory. Ajinkya and the team as well as fans will remember this win for a long time,” Amre added.