Former Indian swashbuckler Virender Sehwag has heaped high praise on stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane for the manner in which he led the side during the opening day of the Boxing Day Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Rahane, who is leading the side in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, on Saturday, once again displayed just why he is one of the shrewdest minds in the game besides once again reminding everyone that even if you have a cool and calm demeanor, you can be just as aggressive if your mindset is positive.
Rahane did that with aplomb on the first day at the MCG. His field placements were brilliant; the manner in which he changed his bowlers was equally laudable. The middle-order batsman took everyone by surprise when he tossed the ball to Ravichandran Ashwin in as early as the 11th over of the innings but soon everyone realized the thought process behind the decision.
With the pitch having a significant amount of moisture, there was not only a turn for the spinners but it also had significant bounce. Rahane gave Ashwin attacking fields by employing a slip, leg-slip, a forward short-leg, and a silly point and for once it looked like the match was taking place at Chepauk instead of the MCG.
The move paid dividends as Ashwin lulled Matthew Wade into a false stroke, giving the team the second breakthrough of the morning session. Another brilliant move from Ajinkya Rahane as soon as Wade got dismissed and Steve Smith strode out to the crease is he immediately brought back his strike bowler Jasprit Bumrah in the attack from the other end.
Bumrah and Ashwin continuously built pressure from both ends, eventually leading to the dismissal of Smith courtesy Ravichandran Ashwin.
Former India opener heaped high praise on the bowlers besides hailing Ajinkya Rahane for his ‘outstanding’ bowling changes and ‘really smart’ fielding placements.
”Outstanding bowling changes and really smart fielding placements from Rahane. And the bowlers delivered. Ashwin, Bumrah,Siraj were absolutely brilliant. Great effort to get Australia all out for 195 on the first day. Now for the batters to get a good first innings lead #AUSvIND” Sehwag wrote on Twitter.
Outstanding bowling changes and really smart fielding placements from Rahane.
And the bowlers delivered . Ashwin, Bumrah,Siraj were absolutely brilliant. Great effort to get Australia all out for 195 on the first day. Now for the batters to get a good first innings lead #AUSvIND
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) December 26, 2020