MELBOURNE, Dec.29 (Reuters) – Indian coach Ravi Shastri has described his side’s eight-wicket victory in Boxing Day’s Boxing Test against Australia as one of the biggest comebacks in the game’s history and congratulated replacement skipper Ajinkya Rahane for orchestrating it.
Under Rahane, India showed great resilience after being beaten in three days in the series opener in Adelaide, where they recorded their lowest innings total of 36.
Despite the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, who is on paternity leave, and injured fast Mohammed Shami, the tourists leveled the four-down streak 1-1 with Rahane leading by example with a sparkling century. I think this will go down in the annals of Indian cricket, world cricket, as one of the great comebacks in the history of the game, ”Shastri said in a video conference on Tuesday.
“To be turned around for 36 years and then three days later to get up and be ready to strike was exceptional.
“The boys deserve all the credit for the character they showed, a real character.”
Rahane promoted to fourth place from Kohli and hit the only century in the bowler-dominated contest, which also earned him the player of the match award.
“It was probably the most difficult day – because it was overcast all day and the sun never came out – and it hit for six hours, incredible concentration. I thought that was the turning point.”
Shastri felt that Rahane’s quiet leadership, which contrasts with Kohli’s bustling harbor master’s office, has helped bowlers and newbies Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj.
“He’s a very wise leader. He has a good understanding of the game,” said Shastri.
“I thought his calm calm in the middle helped beginners as well as bowlers. There was a calming influence.
Quick Umesh Yadav left the field on Monday after injuring his calf, but skipper Rahane was confident of his availability for the third test from January 7.