Former Australian captain Ian Chappell called Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane’s century a “perfect shot” by putting tourists in charge of the second test.
Rahane withstood a brilliant bowling spell from Pat Cummins to end the day unbeaten on 104, his second century at the CWM, with Tourists running to 5-277 in their first innings, currently holding an 82 lead.
India’s performance in the first two days of the Second Test continues a remarkable recovery after being eliminated for a national record of 36 in the first Test.
While tourists don’t have an inspirational skipper Virat Kohli, Chappell says the superstar’s absence has had a galvanizing effect on the Indian dressing room.
“When you lose a star player, the replacement player cannot replace the champion player,” he told Wide World of Sports.
“What you need is for everyone to contribute a little more. I think it’s obviously led by Rahane, and it’s pretty obvious that Rahane has immense respect within this Indian team.
“Two things happened: They realized they all had to put in a little bit more to compensate Kohli, but they also look like: Ajinkya, we really respect him, we love him as a person, and we are going to put some more for him too.
“I always thought India would be fine under Rahane, but when you throw it all, 1-0, (Mohammed) Shami is injured, Kohli comes home, I didn’t think Rahane would make such a difference., but he did.
“It takes a man of immense strength of character to be able to lead them, (but) they also have some very experienced guys there. Just looking at them on the pitch, there was a point where they had took a wicket and Ravi Ashwin was talking to the players.
“It seemed to me that there was a determined effort to ‘What happened in Adelaide was bad, but let’s leave it behind and continue the work in Melbourne.” I tip my hat to Rahane and everyone. the Indian team for how they changed the game.
While Chappell called Rahane’s century a “perfect shot” he was not ready to anoint the acting skipper as a better leader than the incumbent Kohli.
“I think Rahane is a very good captain, but he only had to fill in from time to time,” he said.
“You don’t really know how good a captain is until he has the job and he’s done it quite a bit, but I haven’t seen anything that makes me think he wouldn’t be. not a good long term captain.
“He has one of those temperaments where he seems placid, but he’s also one of those guys who is able to forget about the ball that just passed and focus only on what’s next.
“There was everything, that shot. He had the discipline required on a field that helped bowlers, but whenever they played anything that looked loose he would put it away and that’s exactly what you need to do on a field. hard throw against a really good attack, if they manage to throw a slightly loose delivery you need to put it away.
“For the circumstances, it was absolutely the perfect shot. The fact that the field favored bowlers, the standard of bowling attack, it has to be highly rated.”
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