Indian stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane produced a regal performance with the bat on the second day of the Boxing Day Test against Australia in Melbourne. He scored his 12th Test century to put India in the driver’s seat by the stumps as India have taken an 82-run lead over the hosts.
Rahane remained unbeaten on 104 off 200 deliveries. He also became the second Indian cricketer to score a ton on his first match as captain in Australia. More importantly, his valuable knock helped the visitors getting out of a precarious situation of 64/3 after losing both their overnight batsmen – Shubman Gill (45) and Cheteshwar Pujara (17) – in the space of 11 balls.
After the end of day’s play, captain Virat Kohli, who has flown back home on paternity leave, took to his social media account to hail Rahane’s outstanding innings against the mighty Aussies at the MCG.
“Another great day for us. Proper test cricket at its best. Absolutely top knock from Jinks,” tweeted Kohli.
Former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh also heaped praises on Rahane’s innings. He wrote, “A captain’s Hundred points symbol solid, gritty, and calm just like his personality @ajinkyarahane88 sharp mind in the field setting as well! @imjadeja looking great, how good has he become batting lower down the order. Great start for @RealShubmanGill! We are looking good for a decent lead.”
Virender Sehwag also took to Twitter to congratulate Rahane on playing a captain’s knock. Taking to Twitter, Sehwag wrote: “Brilliant hundred @ajinkyarahane88, determination and class.”
Fomer Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh and Mohammad Kaif also appreciated the way Rahane anchored the Indian innings and played a captain’s knock.
At stumps on Day 2, which was brought early owing to rain, Rahane was going strong on 104 and giving him company was Ravindra Jadeja on 40, the two having added what might prove to be a game-changing 104-run partnership for the sixth wicket.