In his column, Chappell stated that he wasn’t surprised with how Ajinkya Rahane led India to victory at MCG against all odds. Drawing parallels between the Boxing Day match and the 2017 Dharamsala Test (in which Rahane was captain), Chappell wrote:
"Anyone who saw him in charge in Dharamsala in 2017 would have recognised a man born to lead cricket teams. There were a lot of similarities between that 2017 match and the one at the MCG. 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."
“'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. That's part of Rahane's success as a skipper: he's brave and smart.”
“Ajinkya Rahane is calm when things could get out of hand”
Chappell wrote there’s more to Ajinkya Rahane's captaincy than the above-mentioned 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 praised Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin, whose bowling efforts on Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test set up the victory for India:
"There was Jasprit Bumrah, excelling as usual at the MCG, ambushing batsmen regularly. R Ashwin, with his new-found confidence in Australian conditions, exerted his influence over Smith, a vital early wicket that further boosted India's confidence. Inspired by the seniors, the debutants, Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj, made significant contributions as they adjusted quickly to Australian conditions."
India went into the Boxing Day Test on a low. However, led by Ajinkya Rahane, they put up a solid team effort to square the series 1-1.
The third Test at Sydney starts January 7.Published 03 Jan 2021, 11:19 IST