Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane has impressed fans as well as former cricketers like Glenn McGrath, VVS Laxman, and Ajay Jadeja following his aggressive and pr0-active captaincy on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test against Australia.
Rahane, who is leading the Indian team in the absence of Virat Kohli, was at his aggressive best throughout the day as he not only backed his bowlers to the hilt but also gave them attacking fields.
Rahane introduced Ravichandran Ashwin early in the attack, much to the surprise of the onlookers, but the move paid off as Ashwin claimed the wickets of Matthew Wade and Steven Smith. The Indian middle-order batsman persisted with attacking fields especially when Ashwin was bowling by surrounding the batsmen with close-in fielders.
Glenn McGrath also lauded Ajinkya Rahane for his ploy to bring his ace fast bowler back in the attack as soon as Steve Smith came out to bat. The sustained pressure from both ends eventually led to Smith’s demise on his first Test duck since 2016.
“I thought Rahane did a good job. Backed his bowlers. He had four slips and a gully at one point. Once Smith came out, he kept the pressure by bringing back Bumrah. I thought his captaincy has been very good,” Glenn McGrath told Sony Six.
Ajay Jadeja, on the other hand, observed that the refreshing change in Rahane’s captaincy was that there was no fixed mundane pattern in which he went about his business.
“It was obvious that he started with Bumrah. But when Ashwin got Smith, it was interesting to see Rahane carrying on to attack. Generally, you see India’s bowling attacks have a pattern, but today, there was not a pattern. Normally, on the first day of a Test match, you don’t normally see 9 overs (13) from spinners. It wasn’t just from one end, it was from the other end. He preferred his spinners to use the moisture that existed before lunch. That’s a call he made and it was successful,” Ajay Jadeja said.