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India’s win over Australia in Melbourne is one of big test returns, says Ravi Shastri |  Cricket News


Ravi Shastri says India winning the second Test, a week after being eliminated for 36 points, is “one of the great comebacks in the history of the game”; Head coach hails replacement captain Ajinkya Rahane as Australian skipper Tim Paine laments his team’s ‘sloppy cricket’

Last updated: 12/29/20 10:17 am

India beat Australia by eight wickets in the second test – after being beaten by that margin itself in the first test

India head coach Ravi Shastri said his side’s eight-wicket victory over Australia in Melbourne is “one of the great comebacks in the history of the game.”

India were regrouped for their lowest test score of 36 in the opening match of the day-night series in Adelaide, which they lost by eight wickets.

But the tourists rallied around the Boxing Day Test, winning four days after ruling out their opponents for 195 and 200, to tie 1-1 in a four-game series with two games to go.

Shastri said: “I think this will go down in the annals of Indian cricket – no, world cricket – as one of the great comebacks in the history of the game.

“To be turned around for 36 years and then three days later to get up and be ready to strike was exceptional. The boys deserve all the credit for the character they showed.

India’s win over Australia in Melbourne is one of big test returns, says Ravi Shastri |  Cricket News

Shastri praised Ajinkya Rahane (pictured) for his hundred and the way he has ruled India

Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane – alternate Virat Kohli, who returned home for the birth of his child – has been named Man of the Match, with his first 112 innings leading his team to 326.

Shastri praised Rahane’s stick but also his captain’s position, saying the 32-year-old drummer had perfectly managed batsman Shubman Gill and rhythm thrower Mohammed Siraj on their test debut.

Gill had scores of 45 and an unbeaten 35, while Siraj picked up five wickets in the game.

India’s win over Australia in Melbourne is one of big test returns, says Ravi Shastri |  Cricket News

His effort was exceptional. The discipline and the ability to play long spells, the maturity he has shown for someone playing their first test.

Ravi Shastri on Mohammed Siraj

Shastri said of Rahane: “I thought his innings were the turning point. On such a big stage, in a massive arena. When he came out at bat we were two for 60.

“Beat six hours probably the hardest day to beat. It was cloudy; all day the sun never came out. Incredible focus.

“He’s a very insightful leader and has a good understanding of the game. A good reader of the game.

“I thought his calm calm down there in the middle also helped the beginners, also helped the bowlers. There was a calming influence there.

India’s win over Australia in Melbourne is one of big test returns, says Ravi Shastri |  Cricket News

He looked very, very mature to someone playing their first test match, very calm and composed. He wasn’t afraid to play his punches, which was great to see. Even in the second round it was very easy to get into a shell but he came out and played his natural game.

Ravi Shastri on Shubman Gill

Australia captain Tim Paine admitted his team finished second throughout the Melbourne test.

“We are very disappointed, we played pretty poor cricket, pretty sloppy cricket, for the majority of the match,” he said.

“That doesn’t take anything away from India; they put pressure on us and forced us to make a number of mistakes. When you do that against a good team it’s very difficult to win.

“You have to give credit to the Indian attack, they played us beautifully and we didn’t adapt as well as we would have liked.

“As a batting group, we’re very disappointed with what we put in place in the first two test games, but there are still two left so we’re going to work hard and try to rectify that for the next test.”

India’s win over Australia in Melbourne is one of big test returns, says Ravi Shastri |  Cricket News

Australia hope David Warner will be fit for third test in early January

The third test takes place from January 7, with the fourth and final match starting January 15.

Paine is hopeful that opening batsman David Warner will be fit for the third test after missing the first two games with a groin problem.

The Aussie skipper added: “David looks really good from what I’ve seen. He trained this week in the nets and started running between the wickets. The first signs with him are very good for the third test, which is great for us. “





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