Twitter Reacts As Ajinkya Rahane's 100 Puts India In A Dominant Position In The Boxing Day Test

Twitter Reacts As Ajinkya Rahane’s 100 Puts India In A Dominant Position In The Boxing Day Test

Nathan Lyon, Ajinkya Rahane,Shane Warne
Ajinkya Rahane [Photo-Twitter]

An unbeaten 014 by skipper Ajinkya Rahane and valuable contributions from Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja has helped India assume the driver seat in the Boxing Day Test as the visitors finished at 5/277 at stumps on day 02.

On what was an overcast day in Melbourne, the Indians were expected to face an examination of the highest order from the relentless juggernaut that are Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. And, Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara faced exactly that.

Cummins and Hazlewood were once again relentless sans the luck that they enjoyed during the second innings at the Adelaide Oval. Unlike Adelaide, where everything that the Australians dished out found the edge and carried comfortably to the fielders, there were a lot of plays and misses, and in the case of Pujara even when they took the edge, the ball fell short of the slip fielders.

India, Australia
Pat Cummins [Photo-Twitter]
The drama pretty much started on the very first delivery of the day when Pujara was beaten by a beautiful Pat Cummins delivery on the 4th stump, one that held its line before thudding into Tim Paine’s gloves.

Paine thought that Pujara had edged it (he seemed to be the only one) and decided to take the review, which ultimately turned out to be unsuccessful. Cummins probed away at Pujara with the inward angle before seaming the ball sharply away and after a number of edged falling short, he finally got his man, only this time it took a freak of a catch from Paine to effect the dismissal.

India, Australia, Tim Paine
Tim Paine takes a brilliant one-handed diving catch [Photo-Twitter]
Pujara’s wicket came almost immediately after Cummins had dismissed Shubman Gill, whose luck finally ran out after he edged one straight to keeper Paine thanks to an unsuccessful attempt of cover-driving a wide fullish length delivery.

Gill, who fell five short of a half-century on debut, rode his luck in the morning session. He was consistently troubled by Josh Hazlewood, who brought the ball sharply into the right-hander. Tim Paine dropped the youngster after he was nearly cut into half in Hazlewood’s first over of the day while in the following over, the ball fell too far away for Paine’s liking.

The duo squandered all the hard work they had done in the first 50 minutes of play and with the score reading 3/64, it was down to captain Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari to withstand the onslaught by Cummins and his fellow paceman.

 

Ajinkya Rahane’s brilliant 100 Rishabh Pant’s counter-attack helped India leapfrog Australia’s first innings total

Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari ensured that the visitors did not lose any more wickets in the pre-lunch session. The duo stitched a patient 52-run-stand on either side of lunch before Nathan Lyon, who looked pretty threatening on a track that was offering turn and bounce, proved to be the partnership-breaker after Vihari, in an attempt to sweep the off-spinner got beaten by the extra bounce to give a simple catch to Steve Smith at leg-slip.

India, Australia
Rishabh Pant [Photo-Twitter]
Rishabh Pant came out to bat with clear intent. According to CricViz, the southpaw Rishabh attacked 10 of the first 24 balls, scoring 20 runs off them, including three fours in a single Pat Cummins as India notched up their third 50 in a mere 71 deliveries.

Pant eventually nicked off to Starc (who notched up his 250th wicket) for an impactful 29. Rahane, however, continued to get better and better as his innings progressed. The Indian captain played a true captain’s knock; one that was full of patience, grit,ย  gusto and immense determination.ย  Rahane completed his half-century courtesy of a faint tickle down the leg-side off Mitchell Starc before rain cut-short the session by a few deliveries with India just 10 runs behind Australia’s target.

With the new ball just 10 overs away, India needed Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja to stay at the crease as and when Australia took the new cherry, which is exactly what the duo did.

Jadeja played some brilliant strokes while Rahane was as solid as ever as they not only leapfrogged Australia’s total but also took the lead close to the 50-run-mark by the time the new ball was taken by the home side. Mitchell Starc took the new ball and immediately created an opportunity when Rahane edged one to slips, only for Steve Smith to shell it.

India, Australia, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja
Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja. Image Credits: Twitter

Rahane and Jadeja made full use of the brand new cherry as runs started to come thick and fast with the Indian captain flexing his muscles to cream some sumptuous strokes.

And, the moment that Rahane and the whole of India have been waiting for came in the 88th over when he smashed Pat Cummins for a ferocious square-cut to complete what was truly captain’s knock.

A knock glittered with solid technique, hours of patience, brilliant strokeplay, and doggedness. This was Rahane’s second hundred in Australia and he joined Virat Kohli to become the second Indian skipper to score a Test hundred on captaincy debut. He also became the 2nd Indian skipper after Sachin Tendulkar to score a ton at the MCG.

He soon brought up the 100-run-stand with Jadeja with a sumptuous cover-drive off Hazlewood as India inched toward the lead of 100. Rahane was once again dropped when he awkwardly fended at a Pat Cummins delivery by Cameron Green, which also proved to be the last ball of the day as the rain arrives shortly thereafter.

 

Here’s how Twitter reacted-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.