Ajinkya Rahane’s Century Was the Turning Point for India: Shastri

Rahane scored 112 in the 1st innings to thwart the opposition bowlers, lifting India to a lead of 131 runs.

2 min read
Ajinkya Rahane and Ravi Shastri in discussion during training in Melbourne. 

India head coach Ravi Shastri said that stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane's hundred in the first innings was the turning point of the Boxing Day Test against Australia which India won by 8 wickets on the fourth Day. Shastri called Rahane’s knock a display of "unbelievable concentration."

Rahane scored 112 in the first innings to blunt the Australian attack and lift India above 300, to a lead of 131 runs. He was on hand again in the second innings to finish things with an unbeaten 27 alongside Shubman Gill (35*) during the chase of 70.

India have levelled the four match series at 1-1 after losing the first Test at Adelaide by 8 wickets.

Asked about the turning point of the match, Shastri said, "I think, it was the innings of Ajinkya Rahane."

Shastri said Rahane batted on probably the toughest day when the conditions were overcast.

"The discipline, you know on such a big stage...When he (Rahane) went out to bat, we were 2 down for 60, and then to bat six hours, on probably the toughest day to bat, because it was overcast all day and he batted for six hours, unbelievable concentration," the former batsman recalled.

"I thought that was the turning point. His innings was the turning point," he added at the post-match virtual press conference.

Rahane's knock in the first innings came in 223 balls and he hit 12 fours during it.

Shastri was also asked about the difference in captaincy style of Rahane and regular skipper Virat Kohli, who is currently on paternity leave.

"See, both are good readers of the game, Virat is very passionate, Ajinkya, on the other hand, is very calm and composed, and it's their characters.

"Virat is more in your face while Ajinkya is quite prepared to sit back in a very calm and composed manner, but deep inside he knows what he wants," he opined.

The third Test of the series begins from 7 January.

(With PTI Inputs)

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