Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc has said that the Aussie bowlers could have got the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane five times before he notched up his century on Sunday. He commended the Indian skipper's performance but rued the dropped chances against him.
India took the honors on day two with a significant 82-run first-innings lead over Australia. Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja strung a brilliant partnership of 104 runs. The former led from the front with his spunky knock of 104 not out.
Talking at the press conference after day two, Starc praised Ajinkya Rahane's century and also spoke about the Melbourne wicket.
"He has batted really well, could have got him out five times before he got to his hundred, but he has run his luck there and scored a good hundred, well done to him. By the end of today, there are not too many demons in the wicket, it's typical Melbourne, it flattens out, it has become a flat wicket, it has given us a chance to bat really well in the second innings," said Starc.
In addition to a couple of edges that went through the slip cordon, Rahane was dropped twice in the innings on either side of his hundred.
Steve Smith fluffed one difficult catch in the slips in the 80th over on Starc's bowling. Eleven overs later - following Rahane's century celebrations - Travis Head couldn't hold on to an easy catch that flew off the 32-year-old's gloves. Starc was the bowler yet again.
Ajinkya Rahane and Co. need to continue scoring on Monday
The job is still only half done for Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja. India will bat in the fourth innings in the Boxing Day Test and the MCG pitch has something to keep the bowlers interested. The first hour on Monday morning will be arguably the most crucial.
If the standing duo - with some help from the lower-order - could extend the lead to at least 150, India will be in the driver's seat going forward.
However, one could expect Pat Cummins and Josh Hazelwood to come hard on day three to stop the Indians from doing so.Published 27 Dec 2020, 15:30 IST