India captain Ajinkya Rahane was a “proud” skipper as he hailed the drawn game at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) was as “good as a win”.
Rahane, who’s still undefeated as a captain in Test cricket said that the chat in their dressing room was about persisting with that spirit and fight till the end.
“Our talk this morning was about showing character, fighting till the end, and not to think about results,” he said. “Really happy the way we fought, especially today but throughout this game. First innings, Australia were 200 for 2, and from there to get them all out for 338 was really good.
The game was in the visitors’ control when Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant got going. Especially the way Pant came out with the aggressive approach, India thought they’re in win a chance. Pant was carrying an elbow injury into the innings but showed little evidence of that as he counterattacked his way to 97. As soon as he got out Pujara also was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood on 77.
Rishabh is improving day by day
“Yes, we had that strategy and I thought it paid off. But credit to him actually. As a captain and as team management you can make strategies but in the end it is actually up to that individual to go out there and to deliver for your team. And Rishabh did that for us. Credit to him for the way he counterattacked and the way he managed his innings throughout was really great to watch.
“See we know that he can win the game for us from any situation. We have that belief in him and he is improving day by day as a cricketer which is a very good sign for us.”
Vihari-Ashwin showed character
Spinning all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin with “injured” Hanuma Vihari hung in there and batted out the entire evening session to deny the second win for the home team, Rahane said he’s still has a lot to improve at the same appreciated the efforts of Ashwin and Vihari.
“Yes, there are a few areas we can improve on, but special mention to Vihari and Ashwin in the end, the way they batted, [they’ve] shown their character, which was really good to see.”
Proud Team, Proud skipper
The Mumbai born cricketer lauded his team’s “character” and the individuals taking responsibility to do the best for the team.
“I’m really proud as a captain, of each and every individual. I mean you don’t want your players to get injured but injuries are a thing you cannot control. Our talk in the middle, talk in the dressing room was if the team needs you to bat, and guys were ready for it. I think credit to Hanuma Vihari, Ashwin was struggling. Jadeja was padded up and he had shown character [to be ready to] go out there and bat. I’m really proud that the guys are showing character, showing that courage for the team, if the team needs them to bat, they’ll go and bat. It’s a very good sign and I’m really proud of the team.”
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