Ajinkya Rahane, on Sunday, showed that he is more than capable of leading Team India in the upcoming Test series against Australia once regular skipper Virat Kohli leaves. The right-handed batsman led India A from the front with a stunning century in the ongoing three-day first-class fixture against Australia A in Sydney.
Team India will be without Kohli for three of the four Tests against Australia. The India skipper would return home after playing the first Test to attend the birth of his first child. His wife Anushka Sharma is expected to give birth in early January. In his absence, Ajinkya Rahane is set to lead the team.
And he has started his tour of Australia on a stunning note with a century in the ongoing clash against a quality pace attack of Australia A. While most of the batsmen failed to get going, Ajinkya Rahane faced the likes of James Pattinson, Michael Neser, Jackson Bird and Cameron Green with aplomb.
India A were off to a disastrous start as their openers Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill returned to the pavilion without even opening their accounts. Hanuma Vihari fell cheaply too before Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane steadied the ship with 76-run stand. Pattinson broke the stand when he dismissed Pujara for 54.
Following Pujara’s dismissal, Wriddhiman Saha (0) and Ravichandran Ashwin (5) failed too to leave India reeling at 128 for 6. Ajinkya Rahane, however, held firm from his end and went on to score a fine century. It was his 34th first-class ton but first as a captain.
At the time of writing this report, India A were on 235 for 8 with Ajinkya Rahane batting on 106 off 221 balls.