IND vs AUS | Ajinkya Rahane is Brave and Smart as Captain: Ian Chappell Points Out The Mumbaikar’s Leadership Qualities
Ajinkya Rahane (© Twitter/@BCCI)

Former Australian cricketer Ian Chappel lauds Ajinkya Rahane’s captaincy abilities in the Melbourne Test. Rahane impressed everyone with his smart bowling changes and field placements in Boxing Day clash which played a monumental role in India’s 8-wicket win over Australia. Rahane took over the charge of the Indian team in Virat Kohli’s absence, who has been granted the paternity leave. The Mumbaikar led the team from the front after Adelaide debacle and also slammed a gritty century in the first innings to set the tone of the game.

Chappell heaped praise on Rahane and said he is a man born to lead cricket teams which the Mumbaikar showed everyone in his first Test as captain in Dharmsala in 2017.

“It was no surprise that Ajinkya Rahane captained India flawlessly at the MCG; anyone who saw him in charge in Dharamsala in 2017 would have recognised a man born to lead cricket teams,” Chappell wrote in his ESPN Cricinfo column.

Chappell also pointed out similarities between the 2017 Dharmasala Test and the Boxing Day Clash in 2020, which went in India’s favour.

“There were a lot of similarities between that 2017 match and the one at the MCG. Firstly, it was between the same two highly competitive rivals, then there was the valuable first-innings lower-order contribution from Ravindra Jadeja, and finally Rahane aggressively accumulating the required runs in a nervy pursuit of a moderate victory total,” Chappell added.

The former Aussie captain further talked about Rahane’s brave move to introduce Kuldeep Yadav into the attack to break the David Warner-Steve Smith partnership in the Dharmasala Test.

“The moment that caught my attention in the Dharamsala match was the time Rahane called on debutant left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav when David Warner and Steve Smith were involved in a century partnership. ‘This is a brave move,’ I thought, and it turned out to be a very smart one. Yadav quickly claimed the wicket of Warner – expertly caught by Rahane at first slip – and this prompted a five-wicket slide,” Chappell wrote.

The 77-year-old pointed out Rahane’s leadership qualities which helped him gain success as the captain.

“That’s part of Rahane’s success as a skipper: he’s brave and smart. However, there’s much more to his leadership than just those two important qualities. He is calm when things could easily get out of hand. He has earned the respect of his team-mates, one of the most important aspects of good captaincy. And he gets runs when they are needed, which adds to the respect his team has for him,” he added.