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"Always admired Ajinkya Rahane as a fighter" - Farokh Engineer

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane
Modified 01 Jan 2021, 08:01 IST

Former India wicket-keeper batsman Farokh Engineer described Ajinkya Rahane as a fighter for his stellar role in India’s eight-wicket triumph over Australia in the Boxing Day Test.

Speaking to Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu in an SK Live session on Facebook, Engineer stated that Ajinkya Rahane led by example, and inspired Team India to script one of its greatest fightbacks ever.

Praising India’s stand-in captain, he said:

“Great recovery for our boys in Australia. Hats off to Ajinkya Rahane and the whole team. Ajinkya Rahane led from the front. He showed them, if I can do it, you guys can do it too. He’s from the backstreets of Mumbai, Shivaji Park. And, he’s a fighter. I have always admired him as a fighter. Fantastic win for India.”

Engineer added that he was the first to congratulate Indian coach Ravi Shastri, terming him as a ‘tremendous guy, who has done a fantastic job’ with the Indian team.

The 82-year-old veteran of 46 Tests and five ODIs also hoped that India would continue winning as Australia are not the same team they once used to be. Describing the Adelaide disaster as ‘one of those mad moments of Indian batting’, Engineer further explained:

“(Yes) we got out for 36. The Australian bowlers bowled on a perfect line spot, but they were waiting for our batsmen to make mistakes. And, we kept on making the same mistakes. We weren’t coming right behind the ball as we did when we won the match.”

MCG win right up there with winning World Cup, feels Farokh Engineer

While Engineer refused to rank the Melbourne victory among India’s all-time great wins, he did admit that it was one greatest comebacks in Indian cricket history. He said:

“It’s a great way to comeback. It would be right up there with India winning the World Cup, with India winning the Test at The Oval (1971) where I was primarily responsible, along with Chandra (Bhagwath Chandrasekhar).”

India hammered Australia by eight wickets on the back of a stupendous hundred from stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane, backed by an impressive all-round team effort.

With the series level 1-1, India and Australia will now meet in the New Year's Test at Sydney, starting January 7. Rohit Sharma has joined the Indian team in Melbourne. He will be available for last two Test matches of the series having completed his quarantine period.

Published 01 Jan 2021, 08:01 IST
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