Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane’s defiant century in the first innings of the ongoing Boxing Day Test against Australia has earned huge plaudits from both fans as well as former cricketers and pundits.
Having come in to bat at a time when India was reeling at 3/64 after having lost two quick wickets in the form of Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane played a perfect Test match knock, one that was an epitome of skills, patience, resilience, and determination.
Rahane stitched crucial partnerships with Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, and Ravindra Jadeja and thanks to his 112, ensured that India took a hefty 131-run-lead. While the likes of Shane Warne, Sunil Gavaskar, and fans have hailed the innings as the best knock of his career thus far, Rahane still rates his hundred on a green mamba at Lord’s in 2014 as the best knock he has ever played.
”It was really special. Getting a century always is. Still feel that my hundred against England at Lord’s is my best,” Ajinkya Rahane said in the post-match interview.
That hundred by Ajinkya Rahane against England at Lord’s in the summer of 2014 came on a track that was tailor-made for English seamers to exploit. And, they did exactly that by dismissing seven Indian batsmen for a mere 146 runs.
But Rahane held the fort with his dogged resistance and precocious skills, and along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped India to post a total a few runs shy of 300, and in-process completed his second Test hundred. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s six-for, Murali Vijay’s 95, and Ishant Sharma’s seven-wicket-haul in the fourth innings ensured that Rahane’s knock did not go in vain as India registered their maiden Test win at Lord’s after a gap of 28 years.
Coming back to his latest ton, this was Rahane’s first three-figure score in a SENA country since his 147 against Australia in the 2014 Boxing Day Test. Rahane has now joined Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar to become the second Indian captain to score a hundred in a Boxing Day Test.