It was a brand new day at the office for the two heavyweights clashing for the one final time in. Dharamsala, making its Test debut as a venue, witnessed the decider of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2017, and yet another Indian win against Australia. The hosts clinched the series 2-1 and thereby swept the home season with fourth series win.
Team India, just before the start of fourth and final Test, suffered with the shock of Virat Kohli’s decision to skip the most important match of the series after hurting his shoulder during the Ranchi test. With the series on the line, the hosts didn’t panic and took to the field under their new captain- Ajinkya Rahane. The man who is always been calm in every situation. The man who has idolised Rahul Dravid since the very beginning. He was undoubtedly the go to man in the absence of Virat Kohli.
The stage was set for the vice captain to prove himself as the skipper, but he looked very nervous initially. After a while he settled his nerves and was able to absorb all the pressure.
There was a time in the match when Australian batsmen were scoring runs freely at more than 5 runs per over. Rahane and company looked clueless about how to break the partnership but then we saw Kohli coming to field as a waterboy and giving some sort of advice to Rahane.
After talking some game-changing tactics with Kohli, Rahane gave the ball to the debutant Kuldeep Yadav, who got his first international wicket in the form of David Warner. Since then, Rahane didn’t look back and kept on rotating his bowlers in the same way as the former skipper, MS Dhoni. Throughout the match, Rahane showed his calibre & calmness on the field, offering glimpses of MSD-style captaincy in him.
It was predicted before the match that India would lose this game as they took the field without their best player, Virat Kohli. But things were turned around in such an incredible way that it was just pleasing to the eyes. Rahane has been the hero of this match and quietly got all the eyes on him.
Rahane is being hailed by the cricket fraternity for the way he set attacking fields and choked the opposition. He is the talk of the town. Former Australia captain, Michael Clarke said, “The way Rahane came out and captained the team has been a real stand out. He was very aggressive and looked to bowl out Australia. I think his captaincy was brilliant.”
Another Australian player who praised Rahane’s captaincy was Mitchell Johnson, who said, “Rahane should stay on as India’s Test captain.” After all the fights that took place in the past it was somewhat unusual to see Aussies praising Indians.
Rahane had played 36 Test matches before this, and became the 33rd Test Captain to lead the side. He also became the ninth Indian captain after Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Polly Umrigar, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag and Anil Kumble to win his first Test match as captain.
Rahane was aggressive not only as captain, but with the bat too. On day 4, India lost their way in the start when they lost Vijay and Pujara cheaply but Rahane settled in and played a quick innings with KL Rahul, scoring 38* off 27 deliveries with 4 fours and 2 sixes to his name.
The captain after the series win was delighted and in a press conference went on to say, “I really enjoyed it. Really happy as a captain credit to all the boys who stood up and showed character. It is always a special feeling to win your first game as a captain.”
Well after putting up this performance, can we say that we found a new Test Captain?
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