Character Shown by Debutants Gill, Siraj Was Good to See: Rahane

Shubman Gill scored 45 and 35 not out in two innings while Mohammed Siraj finished with 5 wickets in the match

2 min read
Shubman Gill in action for India during the Boxing Day Test win against Australia

India skipper Ajinkya Rahane praised the team's debutants, opener Shubman Gill and fast bowler Mohammed Siraj following the eight-wicket win over Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday that helped the tourists level the four-Test series 1-1.

Gill, who opened the batting in place of his U-19 teammate Prithvi Shaw, scored an assured 45 in the first innings and remained unbeaten on 35 in the second. The other debutant Mohammed Siraj finished with a match haul of five wickets.

"Really proud of all the players. Played really well. Want to give credit to the debutants Siraj and Gill, the character they showed after the Adelaide loss was great to see. Character was important for us, especially after losing Umesh in the second innings," said Rahane, who is standing in as captain for regular skipper Virat Kohli.

“Really impressed with both our debutants. First-class cricket matters a lot, if you play 3-4 years of first-class cricket and India A before coming to the international level, it helps a lot. The way Siraj bowled with discipline and patience was great to see."

Rahane, who scored a brilliant century in the first innings to lead India's revival after they were reduced to 116/4, said going in with five bowlers worked well.

"That (five-bowler plan) worked well for us nicely. We were thinking of having an all-rounder and Jadeja has been brilliant for us. Shubman, we all know his first-class career and in this game, he has shown the intent to play shots at this level. Showed composure. Siraj has shown that he can bowl with discipline. It is really difficult for debutants to bowl with discipline but that's where I think the first-class experience comes in handy," added Rahane.

The 32-year-old, who is batting at No. 4 in the series after the departure of Virat Kohli said, "The talk was all about showing the attitude and intent on the field. As I said, character. Adelaide was about one hour that took the game away from us. Lots to learn for even now. Australia applied themselves with their last five wickets. Umesh is recovering well, management and medical staff will take the call. We're excited about Rohit coming back. Spoke to him yesterday, he's waiting to join the team."

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