Patience, Intent To Win Sessions Taking Rahane, Team India Forward
INDIA VS AUSTRALIA | BORDER - GAVASKAR TROPHY | 2ND TEST, MCG
DAY TWO REVIEW
At 32 years and 104 years, Ajinkya Rahane probably realises that he may not get another opportunity to play Test cricket in Australia after this 4-Test series.
Rahane celebrates his ton. Pic courtesy: BCCI.TV and Getty Images
On Sunday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, he let his 104 not out convert all the empathy, sympathy, dejection, anger fans and critics had for him over the years into admiration.
He has seen several downs in his cricketing career at the international level. As the stand-in captain, he hasn't allowed a flicker of down or negativity shackle him or his teammates. "This knock was all about patience. He was patient, and more importantly when you are playing such a high-quality bowling attack, sometimes you go in that shell and you are not able to score runs.
"The way Ajinkya [bhai] played, it was such a magnificent knock to watch from outside. How to see off those tough periods, the loose balls that he was getting he was making sure he was putting all of them away," Cricbuzz quoted debutant Shubman Gill saying.
Gill, who admitted he played a poor shot when on 45, was in fact the first Team India top order batsman to show intent in standing up to the Aussie challenge.
His 61 run partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara laid a suitable platform for Rahane to step on and carry India's fortune into a dominant status.
Rahane took that platform several notches as he stitched constructive partnerships of 52 and 57 with Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant, followed by the still strong century stand with Ravindra Jadeja.
Fans are noticing a positive attitude without any toppings of aggression in all 11 of India's players in this second Test.
It's as if Rahane, whose inherent nature is calm and composed, has waved a wand and spread these traits to the entire team.
There has been no wild celebration by the bowlers, neither from the batsmen after achieving something big in the two days of dominant cricket they have played, coming from that pathetically low phase in Adelaide.
They are increasingly playing "we are there for each other" roles and winning sessions.
Their such an approach has perhaps unnerved the Aussies who have balked at the opportunities coming their way.
Rahane now has another three days to ensure he and his teammates continue winning majority of the sessions and the Test.
The Aussies are reputed for bouncing back menacingly when they have their backs to the wall. Their biggest negative feeling was visible when they failed to grab a wicket after taking the second new ball.
Their shoulders dropped even more when they floored crucial catches, twice from Rahane's bat.
Both Rahane and Jadeja are experienced to have observed this sense of dejection among the Aussies. They'd be working hard to sustain this stranglehold.
You can expect them to bat long and pile on additional pressure and lowness in the host's camp.
Aussie legend Shane Warne had predicted that Tim Payne and his boys will decimate India at the MCG.
On Sunday, Warne was lost for words on what strategy Australia should be adopting to win back the initiative from India.
Patience, intent to win every session, and executing plans correctly are the current buzzwords in the Indian camp.
The onus is on them to repeatedly implement these buzzwords for the next three days and then during the next two Tests.
With Rahane at the helm and most others from the playing 11 in sync, you get a strong feeling that India will turn up trumps in this Test and carry that triumphant momentum into the New Year, 2021.