Melbourne: Ajinkya Rahane is a very shrewd, calm leader and has a good understanding of the game. This is what head coach Ravi Shastri had to say after India defeated Australia by eight wickets at the MCG here Tuesday. The head coach also termed Rahane’s first-innings knock of 112 as the turning point of the match.
“He (Rahane) is a very shrewd leader. He has a good understanding of the game and is a good reader of the game. I thought his calm composure out there in the middle helped the debutants – Mohammed Siraj and Shubman Gill. It also helped the bowlers as well. There was a calming influence and in spite of losing Umesh (Yadav), I thought we did a great job,” said Shastri.
The 58-year-old former India all-rounder was asked to compare Rahane with Virat Kohli. The head coach said that though both are good readers of the game they are different in nature.
“Both are good readers of the game. Virat is very passionate while Ajinkya on the other hand is very calm and composed. It is their characters… Virat is more in your face while Rahane is prepared to sit back in a very calm and composed manner. However, deep inside he knows what he wants,” Shastri pointed out.
Shastri called Rahane’s knock as the one that turned the match in India’s favour. “I think it was the innings of Rahane,” said Shastri when asked about the turning point of the match. “The discipline he showed on such a big stage to get to his century, it was incredible,” Shastri stated.
“To come in as captain when we were two down for 60-odd and then to bat for six hours on probably the toughest day to bat. I think it sums all up… unbelievable concentration. I thought that was the turning point,” added the head coach.
Rohit to join team
Shastri also stated that Rohit Sharma has recovered from his hamstring injury and will join the team for the third Test at Sydney starting January 7. However, there is still no clarity on whether he will play.
Shastri told the media that the team management will have a chat with Rohit to know how he feels. Then they will take a call on his availability.
“Rohit joins the team tomorrow (Wednesday). We will have a chat with him to see where he is placed physically. He has been quarantined for a couple of weeks. We will have to see now how he feels before we take the call,” informed Shastri.