Rahane’s innings was turning level of the match: Shastri

Melbourne, December 29

India head coach Ravi Shastri on Tuesday declared stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane’s hundred as the turning point of the second Test against Australia which India won by eight wickets, calling his knock a display of “unbelievable concentration”.

A dogged 112 by Rahane helped India gain a crucial 131-run lead in the first innings. India then bundled out the hosts for 200 in their second essay and then chased the 70-run target with ease to draw level in the four-match series.

Asked about the turning point of the match, Shastri said: “I think, it was the innings of Ajinkya Rahane.”

Shastri said Rahane batted on probably the toughest day when the conditions were overcast.

“The discipline, you know on such a big stage…When he (Rahane) went out to bat, we were 2 down for 60, and then to bat six hours, on probably the toughest day to bat, because it was overcast all day and he batted for six hours, unbelievable concentration,” the former batsman recalled.

“I thought that was the turning point. His innings was the turning point,” he added at the post-match virtual press conference.

Rahane’s knock in the first innings came in 223 balls and he hit 12 fours during it. The third Test of the series begins from January 7.

Shastri was also asked about the difference in captaincy style of Rahane and regular skipper Virat Kohli, who is currently on paternity leave.

“See, both are good readers of the game, Virat is very passionate, Ajinkya, on the other hand, is very calm and composed, and it’s their characters. Virat is more in your face while Ajinkya is quite prepared to sit back in a very calm and composed manner, but deep inside he knows what he wants,” he opined. PTI

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