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"Indian players are more at ease under Ajinkya Rahane" - Dilip Vengsarkar

Hanuma Vihari (L) and Ajinkya Rahane shake hands after India
Hanuma Vihari (L) and Ajinkya Rahane shake hands after India's historic draw in Sydney
Modified 12 Jan 2021, 14:58 IST

Former Indian cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar has praised Ajinkya Rahane's leadership and his tremendous character. According to Vengsarkar, Rahane has provided the young players the freedom to perform and they are more at ease under him.

Under Ajinkya Rahane, India came back superbly from arguably their worst batting performance in Adelaide to a series-leveling win in Melbourne. The team put up another display of spunk by drawing the 3rd Test against Australia on Monday.

In an interview with Times of India, Dilip Vengsarkar said that Ajinkya Rahane has done a fantastic job in Virat Kohli's absence.

"The team has really blossomed under the leadership of Ajinkya Rahane. India were bundled out for 36 and lost the match (in the first Test in Adelaide) but the way Rahane led the team after the Adelaide defeat is amazing. Ajinkya showed tremendous character. Players are more at ease under Rahane. He has given the freedom to his players. Freedom is the topmost thing that Rahane has injected into the team. Not just Ashwin and Jadeja, the youngsters Siraj, Saini, and Gill also impressed in the series. Ajinkya has done a fantastic job in Virat's absence."

Virat Kohli led India to a historic series victory in Australia in 2018/19. In this edition, he left after the first Test on paternity leave. Many expected Team India to succumb under pressure without Kohli but Rahane and Co. made sure to prove them wrong.

It was a complete team performance by Ajinkya Rahane and team: Dilip Vengsarkar

The draw in Sydney was special because it came in the absence of some crucial players and involved a complete team effort. Dilip Vengsarkar praised every performer individually. He also added that if Rishabh Pant had stuck around after his swashbuckling 97, India would have won the Test.

"It was Rishabh's innings that brought us close in the match. Had he been there for some more time, we would have definitely won. But this draw is no less than a win. It was an extraordinary innings by Pant. Ashwin played really well and the way he took the India innings forward along with Hanuma was just amazing. Pujara too played well. Everyone played really well. It was a team performance. It was an outstanding team effort," said Dilip Vengsarkar.

However, India's freakish injury concerns are a matter of concern. After 3 pacers, 3 batsmen and one 1-all-rounder already being unavailable for different reasons, Jasprit Bumrah is also unlikely to play the 4th Test.

Nevertheless, as this team has shown in the past couple of weeks, Brisbane will see no dearth in character and determination from Ajinkya Rahane's men.

Published 12 Jan 2021, 14:58 IST
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