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Heartening to see Ajinkya Rahane being praised for his leadership by Australian greats: Sunil Gavaskar

Former India cricketer and legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar was delighted with the way Australian legends lauded stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane for his captaincy skills in the concluded Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. After recording their lowest ever Test score in an innings, 36 for 9, in the opening match of the 4-Test series, India bounced back majestically and put up a thumping 8-wicket win against Australia at MCG to level the series 1-1.

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Ajinkya Rahane was awarded the ‘Player of the Match’ for his scintillating hundred in the MCG Test that helped the visitors post a lead of over 130 runs in the first innings. The tourists then chased down the 70-run target, courtesy Shubman Gill (35*) and Rahane (27*) for their unbeaten innings.

It was a historic victory for the Indian cricket team, their fourth at MCG in overall Test history, and Gavaskar, who was in the commentary box alongside the Australian cricket greats, was in complete awe after listening to them lauding Rahane’s leadership abilities in the high-pressure Test in Melbourne.

“You had to be around the Australian commentary boxes to understand the kind of admiration that was there for the way he (Rahane) led the team amongst some of the Australian legends who were at the commentary box,” Gavaskar told India today.

The veteran of over 130 Tests and 10,000-plus runs added “So that was such a heartening thing to see that he was being praised for his leadership by these guys, someone like Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Mike Hussey, Shane Warne, they had nothing but praise for Rahane’s captaincy.”

When the main guy is back again, you make way for that guy: Sunil Gavaskar

However, Gavaskar also mentioned that Virat Kohli is the Test captain and he should make way for him once he returns. Virat has taken paternity leave to be with his wife Anushka Sharma.

However, the former cricketer immediately pointed out that Virat Kohli, being the Test captain, should be handed over the side once he returns. Virat is on paternity leave and he flew back to India post the Adelaide Test.

“Rahane is the stand-in captain and as a stand-in captain or as a stand-in batsman or a new-ball bowler of off-spinner, you try to do your best at that point of time but when the main guy is back again very fit, you make way for that guy, ” said Gavaskar.

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Taking into account the drubbing that the visitors received in Adelaide, a lot of cricket experts had ruled out a single Indian triumph ahead of the second Test, more so,post-Virat Kohli’s departure and pacer Mohammed Shami’s injury in the first Test that ruled him out of the entire Test series. However, Rahane managed to lead the Indian side to a triumphant win in the Boxing Day Test and spoiled the chances of a white-wash defeat.

The 32-year-old Mumbaikar is currently the highest run-getter in the ongoing series, with 181 runs in 4 innings, an average of 60.33, and a century to his name.

With the moment in favor, India will lock horns with Australia in the third Test commencing on January 7 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney.

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V Shashank
A cricket aficionado who has been following the game since the historic Ashes 2013-14. "People throw stones at you, you turn them into milestones." - Sachin Tendulkar


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