India vs Australia: His intent was 'aggressive,' Tendulkar lauds Rahane's captaincy
India great Sachin Tendulkar heaped praise on Ajinkya Rahane on Thursday for his performance with the bat and as Team India’s stand-in-skipper during the recently concluded Boxing Day Test against Australia
India great Sachin Tendulkar heaped praise on Ajinkya Rahane on Thursday for his performance with the bat and as Team India's stand-in-skipper during the recently concluded Boxing Day Test against Australia.
In the absence of Virat Kohli, who has returned to India for the birth of his first child, Rahane is leading India in the remaining matches of the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy. He led from the front at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) as India completed one of their best comebacks in Test cricket. After suffering a heavy loss in the opening Test in Adelaide, Team India bounced back by thrashing Australia inside four days in Melbourne to level the series at 1-1 with two more Tests to go.
"I felt this was a brilliant performance by our team, the manner in which our team was able to play, and the way Ajinkya led the team. Also if you look at senior cricketers and their contribution, it has been good," Tendulkar told PTI.
Speaking of Rahane's knock of 122, his 12th century in the whites and second on Australian soil, Tendulkar said that his fellow Mumbai batsman rightfully struck a balance between calmness and aggression.
"I thought Ajinkya batted brilliantly. He was calm, relaxed and composed. He had aggressive intent but aggression was rightly balanced by calmness and surety. So, he did not miss opportunities when a boundary ball was there. And when one had to be patient, he was patient. The intent was very good," added Tendulkar, who played 200 Tests for India between 1989 and 2013.
In the same interview, Tendulkar also warned people against drawing comparisons between Rahane and Kohli as India captains, saying both have different personalities.
"People shouldn't get into comparisons with Virat. Ajinkya has a different personality. His intent was aggressive. I would like to remind everyone that they are both Indians and they both play for India, so no individuals come above India. Team and country is above everything else," added Tendulkar.
Tendulkar, who played 20 Tests Down Under and 39 Tests in total against the Australians, pointed out that the current Australian batting line-up is looking "less settled."
"When I look at this Australian batting line-up and look at some of the earlier line-ups, I feel earlier line-ups were settled ones. Those players batted with a different kind of intent but this team doesn't look very settled. In this current Australian team, there are players who are not in good form and are unsure about their spots. In earlier teams, those batsmen batted in their slots as there was a lot of surety in their batting line-up," Tendulkar, who scored 3,630 runs against the Australians in Test cricket, further explained.
The third Test between India and Australia is set to begin on Jan. 7 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).