Ashwin

Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Tuesday said that Ajinkya Rahane’s calmness and balanced approach guided the team to a much-needed win. The Indian team emerged victorious by eight wickets in the boxing day test versus Australia. Wrapping a Test match within four days on foreign soil speaks essays on the character of the team. The Indian team literally rose from a real low point after the humiliating loss at Adelaide to stand up and secure a stunning win at Melbourne.

However, if there is one man to point for the acting architect to this win it would be the step in Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane. The Mumbai batsman first got a finely tuned 112 in the first innings and then remained unbeaten at 27 in the second to help India win by eight wickets.

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It was not just the batting bit from Rahane. He looked good even as a captain, not just as per his team-mates but Pundits too. He set fields according to smart plans. To add to that, trusted his bowlers to bowl longer spells and maintained effective rotation to trap the Aussie batsmen.

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While talking about the team’s win when there was no Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma or Mohammed Shami, when Umesh Yadav had to walk off the field halfway, Ashwin said, “The best thing that we did was just walk away from that game in Adelaide. We said that it was just one of those unfortunate days. The batting unit definitely did take responsibility for it.  Most importantly, losing Virat was not easy but the discussion we had around it and the team-building exercises that we did through that phase from Adelaide to Melbourne was very crucial and Jinks was very, very calm and balanced which gave many of us the launch-pad to go out there and express ourselves after that defeat.”

The Delhi Capitals player who has shared the dressing room with Ajinkya Rahane further added that Jinks (Rahane) played his heart out. It was a special innings, Ashwin further went on to add.

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“Many of us have now played for a while for the team. Without a doubt, we have had our share of special wins. However, if I had to pick one that would be extremely special is this one for a lot of reasons. This team without the presence of Virat, the batting giant that India had over the last decade or so. It is surely not that easy and Jinks stood up. Without a doubt, that is one of the finest cricketing knocks I have seen.”

Ravi Ashwin himself provided India with crucial dismissals. His five wickets in the match included Steve Smith in the first innings and Marnus Labuschagne in the second. His spine partner– Ravindra Jadeja– also came useful with the bat, getting a half-century in the first innings. Jasprit Bumrah picked six wickets, the highest in the Indian line-up. While almost every player contributed actively, Mohammed Siraj and Shubman Gill couldn’t have asked for better debuts.