Ajinka Rahane's assertive captaincy was integral to India's victory at the MCG. It also surprised many pundits. When asked on a Sports Today discussion if he was surprised to see Rahane take control, Dasgupta said he wasn't.
"I knew he could do it, there are no two ways. And it is not just about him, there are other leaders as well. I have been an Ajinkya fan not only from his international debut but from his first-class days because you could see that there is someone special there," said Dasgupta.
Dasgupta highlighted that while Ajinkya Rahane may not show in-your-face aggression like Kohli, he's as much an attacking captain.
"He might be quiet but that does not mean, he is not aggressive. He might be less expressive than someone like Virat but he is equally aggressive, equally attacking, the way he thinks, the way he handles himself, it's just that he keeps quiet," added Dasgupta.
"I did not have any doubt that Ajinkya Rahane can get this team together" - Deep Dasgupta
Deep Dasgupta gave the example of Ajinkya Rahane's aggressive captaincy in India's series-clinching win at Dharamsala against the same opposition to substantiate his point.
"We have all seen him leading India before. I am not taking into account Afghanistan because with all due respect, it was Afghanistan but we all remember how he led India in Dharamsala. He was attacking in his mindset, his bowling changes were attacking. His team again was very attacking. So if you look back and see, you will get hints that he is someone who is very very aggressive in his mindset," said Dasgupta.
"Obviously, his (Ajinkya's) batting tells you that, the way he bats in a counter-attacking mode more often than not when India is in trouble. So I did not have any doubt that he can get this team together and also credit to the other leaders because all of them stood up, starting from Pujara to Ashwin to Bumrah and credit to Rahane obviously to get all of them together," added Deep Dasgupta.
Deep Dasgupta signed off by highlighting Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah's roles as mentors. He also appreciated Ajinkya Rahane for involving them in chalking out plans to dismiss the Aussie batsmen.
"When India was bowling, the bowling captain seemed to be someone else. It wasn't Ajinkya running up to the bowler every time. It was Ashwin or Bumrah speaking to the other bowlers, Ashwin predominantly. So he also kind of got everyone involved in it and that is so important because under crisis you have to get everyone involved and have to make everyone a stakeholder," concluded Dasgupta.
Ajinkya Rahane deserves immense credit for lifting the Indian team from the Adelaide lows. The stand-in captain not only had to instill confidence in the team but also overcome personal demons. But none of those cracks showed when the team routed the Australians by eight wickets at the MCG.
Published 03 Jan 2021, 17:42 IST