Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman has heaped high praise on the Ajinkya Rahane-led Indian team for the manner in which they responded in the Boxing Day Test after having suffered a humiliating defeat in Adelaide.
India turned the tables on Australia in a brilliant manner in Melbourne as they outclassed the home side in all three departments of the game to notch up a series-leveling eight-wicket win.
Laxman also heaped praise on the Ravi Shastri-led support staff for ensuring that the team was in the right space of mind following the soul-crushing defeat in Adelaide.
“The Indian team completed one of its sweetest Test wins at its favorite hunting ground in Australia, the MCG. After the humiliation of being shot out for their lowest Test score in Adelaide, they could have been seized by self-doubt and a crisis in confidence. Credit is due to Ravi Shastri and the support staff for putting 36 all out in the first Test in perspective and ensuring the team was in the right mind-space.” VVS Laxman wrote in his column for TOI.
“I was heartened by the approach as well as the performances of debutants Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj”- VVS Laxman
One of the biggest hallmarks of India’s win in Melbourne was the manner in which the youngsters have stepped up to the occasion in the absence of senior players like Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Shami.
In their absence, the likes of Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj stepped up big time by making significant contributions in the eight-wicket win.
While Gill scored a classy 45 and 35* in two innings, Mohammed Siraj became the first overseas bowler to claim five wickets in his debut game since Lasith Malinga achieved the same back in 2004.
VVS Laxman attributed the team’s success to their brimming bench strength.
“I was heartened by the approach as well as the performances of debutants Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj. They were not overawed by the stage and fitted in perfectly, which shows how well prepared and ready they were to perform at the highest level. It also reiterates India’s burgeoning bench strength; even without their best batsman and their most experienced pacer on tour, Mohammed Shami, not to mention the absence of Ishant and Rohit Sharma, India didn’t appear seriously handicapped,” Laxman wrote.