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India vs Australia: Rahane aiming to enter an elite list of Indian captains ahead of Sydney Test

Ajinkya Rahane
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Ajinkya Rahane 

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Ajinkya Rahane is aiming to enter an elite list of Indian captains ahead of the third Test between India and Australia in Sydney. The...

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Ajinkya Rahane is aiming to enter an elite list of Indian captains ahead of the third Test between India and Australia in Sydney.

The 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy is currently levelled at 1-1, with two more Tests to go. The New Year's Test is scheduled to begin on Jan. 7 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and the final game will be played at the Gabba, Brisbane, from Jan. 15.

India's regular captain Virat Kohli led in the day-night Test in Adelaide last month before returning home for the birth of his first child. In his absence, his deputy, Rahane is leading the Indian team in the remaining Tests. The Mumbai batsman played a match-winning knock of 112 off 223 deliveries as India bounced back to seal the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The win was Rahane's third win as India's Test captain in as many games.

If Rahane manages to win the Sydney Test, it would make him only the second Indian Test skipper to win his first four Tests as captain. The former Indian captain MS Dhoni achieved the feat when he took over India's charge from Anil Kumble in 2008.

Rahane recorded his 12th Test century during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne last month. It was his second ton on Australian soil. Ahead of the Sydney Test, Rahane is eyeing to become only the fifth Indian batsman to score 1,000 or more runs Down Under in Test cricket after Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid, and Kohli.

The 32-year-old Rahane so far has accumulated 797 runs from 10 matches at an average of 46.88. Tendulkar is at the top of the list of most runs in the longest format in Australia among Indian batters with 1,809 runs in 20 games at an average of 53.20, while Kohli in second place with 1,352 runs in 13 Tests at 54.08.

Meanwhile, Rahane is also looking to become the 10th Indian batsman to score 3,000 or more runs in Test cricket away from home. Rahane has scored 2,891 runs at an impressive average of 45.88 in 40 overseas Tests. Tendulkar is once again at the top of the list, having scored 8,705 runs in 106 away Tests. Next on the list are Dravid (7,667 runs in 93 Tests), Sunil Gavaskar (5,055 runs in 60 Tests), Laxman (5,014 runs in 74 Tests), Sourav Ganguly (4,032 runs in 63 Tests), Virender Sehwag (3,847 runs in 51 Tests), and Kohli (3,760 runs in 48 Tests).

The last time India won the Sydney Test was back in 1978 when Bishan Bedi-led Indian team hammered the hosts by an innings and two runs. The Indian team, however, came close to finally winning the SCG Test in 2019, but the weather played spoilsport as the rain had forced a draw result.

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