Ajay Jadeja believes that Ajinkya Rahane-led India's success resulted from them breaking their bowling pattern. He credited Rahane's decision to bowl Ravichandran Ashwin(3-24) and Ravindra Jadeja(1-15) in the first session itself for India's dominance.
Ajinkya Rahane was astute in his field placements and bowling changes throughout Day 1. The interim skipper used his pacers in short spells and allowed his spinners to have a crack at the fresh pitch.
The bowlers repaid his faith, and the Aussies rolled over for just 195 runs - their lowest-ever total on Boxing Day after electing to bat first. Talking to Sony Six, Ajay Jadeja remarked the smart strategy paid dividends for the Indian team.
"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. 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," said Jadeja.
At the end of the day, India is trailing by 159 runs. Shubman Gill played some ravishing strokes, and Cheteshwar Pujara also looked solid. If the top-order denies the Australian attack wickets on Sunday morning, a healthy first-innings lead won't be far.
Ajinkya Rahane did a good job backing his bowlers: Glenn McGrath
Speaking on Sony Six, Australian fast-bowling legend Glenn McGrath also commended Ajinkya Rahane for his leadership. He was particularly impressed by the Mumbaikar's use of Jasprit Bumrah(4-56) against Steve Smith.
"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," said McGrath.
Smith was caught at leg-slip for a duck off Ashwin's bowling. The trap was set with a tight leg-side field, and the stalwart batsman fell right into it.
When play resumes on Day 2, the focus will shift from Ajinkya Rahane's captaincy to his batting. The 32-year-old will also look to improve his poor form in Test matches and recreate some of his leadership charisma with the bat.Published 26 Dec 2020, 15:22 IST