Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has said that he wasn’t really surprised to see the flawless manner with which Ajinkya Rahane led the India team in their eighth-wicket triumph over the Australians at the MCG.
Chappell has been a huge fan of Ajinkya Rahane’s leadership ever since he saw him captain Team India in the series-decider of the 2017 rubber in Dharamsala.
And, according to the former Aussie batsman, anyone who saw Rahane marshall his troops in that game, would realize that he is brave, smart, and born to lead cricket teams.
In his latest column for ESPNCricinfo, Ian Chappell pointed out the similarities between Dharamsala 2017 and MCG 2020 and also what was that one thing that convinced that Ajinkya Rahane is such a natural leader of men.
“It was no surprise that Ajinkya Rahane captained India flawlessly at the MCG; anyone who saw him in charge in Dharamsala in 2017 would have recognized a man born to lead cricket teams. There were a lot of similarities between that 2017 match and the one at the MCG,” Ian Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.
“Firstly it was between the same two highly competitive rivals, then there was the valuable first-innings lower-order contribution from Ravindra Jadeja, and finally Rahane aggressively accumulating the required runs in a nervy pursuit of a moderate victory total,” he added.
“The moment that caught my attention in the Dharamsala match was the time Rahane called on debutant left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav when David Warner and Steve Smith were involved in a century partnership. ‘This is a brave move,’ I thought, and it turned out to be a very smart one. Yadav quickly claimed the wicket of Warner – expertly caught by Rahane at first slip – and this prompted a five-wicket slide,” he added.
Ajinkya Rahane’s century turned the match in India’ favor: Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell heaped high praise on Team India for its all-round performance but reckoned that it was Ajinkya Rahane’s knock that proved to be the difference between the tourists going 0-2 down and levelling the series 1-1.
“Despite those valuable performances, the one that turned the match firmly in India’s favor was the Johnny Mullagh medal-winning contribution from Rahane. The captain’s century came at a time when India could easily have faded to a two-nil deficit, and it was this performance that gave his team the conviction that victory was attainable,” Ian Chappell added.