Australian fast bowling legend Glenn McGrath was impressed with India’s stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane's leadership on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
After a humiliating defeat in the first Day-Night Test of the ongoing four-Test series in Australia, Team India made an impressive comeback in the second Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test as the tourists bowled the hosts out for 195 on Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test on Saturday (December 26).
After Australia opted to bat first at the iconic MCG, India’s Jasprit Bumrah started the show by dismissing Joe Burns for a 10-ball duck followed by crucial blows by R Ashwin and debutant Mohammad Siraj. The India bowlers picked all ten wickets inside 73 overs on day 1 of the Boxing Day Test as Ashwin and Bumrah yet again shined with the ball, taking 3 and 4 wickets respectively.
Siraj justified his selection by picking 2 wickets on his Test debut, removing Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green while all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja dismissed Pat Cummins for 9 off 33 balls at the MCG.
McGrath was impressed with the way Rahane backed his bowlers and used them to maintain the consistent pressure on the hosts Australia on Day 1 of the second Test at the MCG.
McGrath told Sony Six on Saturday, “I thought Rahane did a good job. Backed his bowlers. He had four slips and a gully at one point. Once Smith came out, he kept the pressure by bringing back Bumrah. I thought his captaincy has been very good.”
Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer Ajay Jadeja also hailed Rahane’s crucial bowling changes on the opening day of the second Test against Australia.
Jadeja said about India’s bowling on Day 1, “It was obvious that he started with Bumrah. But when Ashwin got Smith, it was interesting to see Rahane carrying on to attack. Generally, you see India's bowling attacks have a pattern, but today, there was not a pattern.”
He signed off by saying, “Normally, on the first day of a Test match, you don't normally see 9 overs (13) from spinners. It wasn't just from one end, it was from the other end. He preferred his spinners to use the moisture that existed before lunch. That's a call he made and it was successful.”
(With PTI Inputs)