MCG TEST review

MCG TEST  REVIEW

https://youtu.be/W2RT3YIPSYU (india’s win at MCG Video)

INDIA STRIKES BACK AT MCG  – all the newspaper headlines carried Indian team’s success story.  Even the local Australian press hailed India’s victory at MCG.

An Indian captain did it at MCG in the boxing day test. Ajinkya Rahane led from the front with a well crafted century.

And the leader delivers it.   With the team morale at its low ebb after the Adelaide  debacle  and With odds heavy against the team, A. Rahane has done it.  As in my preview itself I mentioned that India will bounce back at MCG. 

As India romped home with 8 wickets on the fourth day at “G ” ( MCG) there were muted celebrations from the Indian team dug out.   It may be preposterous to eulogize the leadership of A. Rahane, but he proved a point that playing cool pays off.  Now the stakes are high as the World Test Championship coveted title is on the line.

With Kohli returning to India for the birth of his child, Shami not available owing to injury, Umesh Yadav couldn’t bowl in the second innings after a brief spell, Rahane carried the mantle of leadership with  calm and composure.   His marshalling of the troupe is also well orchestrated,  effecting changes in bowling and field placements. And the four changes in the team from Adelaide proved to be his masterstroke as all the four players including the two debutants proved their mettle. 

A.Rahane did a Vishwanathsque act.  Gundappa Viswanath may be proud of Rahane as he emulated Vishwanath’s century in 1981 which also resulted in India’s win at MCG.  This is Rahane’s second century at MCG.  His first century six seasons back ensured India to draw the test.  And he will cherish this century like the one at Lord’s in 2014  ( a name at Lord’s Honours board, which every player likes to relish) which also brought victory for India.

 After bowling out the Aussies on the first day for 195 thanks to Bumrah, Ashwin & debutant speedster Mohammed Siraj, the cool captain stitched 2 half century partnerships and a century partnership  with the doughty half century by the all rounder Jaddu and helped himself his 12th  test century put up a lead of 131 runs in the first innings.  

The debutants, the tall opener Shubman Gill from Punjab who came in place of P. Shaw, scored 45 & unbeaten  35 runs and the speedster Mohammed Siraj with 5 scalps in the match proved that their selection is right and are bright future prospects to the team.  In fact Siraj’s figures are the best for a debutant away from home. 

As his wont, the diminutive stout wicket keeper, Rishab Pant, who replaced W. Saha, played a cameo knock of 29 runs in the first innings and added a half century partnership with the skipper.  Though his wicket keeping credentials are still suspect, his age is on his side to improvise.

And now MCG became India’s favourite hunting away ground as it has won 4 times here as no other visiting teams could win more than 3 here at MCG.  India won at MCG in 1978, 1981, 2018 & 2020 and  India is the second team after the west indies to come back after 0-1 in the last 50 years in Australia.

It’s also a dubious record for Aussies  as no player  from their team has scored a half century in this test in the last 3 decades.

Incidentally, he has led the team 3 times and won as many which is praiseworthy.    Even Shane Warne, now TV Commentator  and once his captain at Rajasthan Royals (IPL team)  heaped eloquent praises on Rahane’s cool headedness and his leadership traits in adverse conditions. We all Wish him to repeat this in the rest of this series.

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