Indian Test batsman Ajinkya Rahane may not be the most star-studded cricketer or the one who frequently appears in the spotlight. However, he has been central to India’s success in Test cricket over the past two years and came to the rescue on more occasions than one. In a chat with Deep Dasgupta over a webcast, Ajinkya Rahane reminisced the special moment when the opportunity to captain the Test team fell into his hands.
It occurred during Australia’s tour of India in 2017 during the fourth Test in Dharamshala while the series was locked in 1-1. Contrary to expectations, the tourists punched well above their weight headlined by Steve Smith’s batting performances and Nathan Lyon with the ball. As the skipper, Ajinkya Rahane made 46 and 38 in two innings in a winning cause.
Rahane stated that leading India, especially in a Test against Australia was exceptionally special for him. The 32-year old went on to say that it was not before evening the day before the match that he knew he was going to lead. Regular captain Virat Kohli had to miss that Test due to a back injury.
“Leading India was really special for me, particularly in that Test match against Australia in 2017. I had never thought I would captain India. By evening also I was not sure that I would be leading the Indian side or not. Virat and Anil Kumble (then India’s coach) told me the evening before the Test that I would be captaining,” Rahane stated.
“I couldn’t believe I was going to lead the team” : Ajinkya Rahane
The right-handed batsman further claimed that it was unbelievable when he came to know about his captaincy position for that Test. He said that to guide India to a series win against a formidable Australian side and in his first Test was an ecstatic feeling. So far, Ajinkya Rahane has played 65 Tests, mustering 4203 runs at 42.88 with 11 tons.
“It was a very special moment for me. I couldn’t believe I was going to lead the team. The series was 1-1 and to go on to win the series 2-1 in the first Test I captained was really special for me,” the Maharashtrian-born added further.