Following a series-levelling win at the MCG, Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane has said that the team did not broach the topic of their batting collapse in Adelaide after arriving in Melbourne. Rahane made this disclosure in a post-match interview with the Sony Sports network.
When asked if the Indian team talked about Adelaide during the six-day break before the Melbourne Test, Ajinkya Rahane said that the team was involved in a couple of practice sessions in Melbourne and did not discuss about Adelaide.
"We didn't touch that topic at all. We came to Melbourne and did not practice much as well. We had two sessions after coming to Melbourne," said Ajinkya Rahane.
Ajinkya Rahane observed that the players focussed solely on their training and did not have any apprehensions about their abilities because of one 'bad' session in Adeliade, as they had prepared well before the series.
"All the players were focussing a lot on the training. As Test players, we had come here one month back. So we had prepared well. You cannot doubt your ability if one hour goes bad," added Ajinkya Rahane.
The stand-in captain pointed out that it was just a matter of having a positive outlook and said that the team did not indulge in any discussions about Adelaide, observing in this regard:
"We just had to correct our attitude, intent and mindset. So, we did not talk at all about the Adelaide Test match."
We were always considering playing five bowlers, but Jadeja was not fit in Adelaide: Ajinkya Rahane
Ajay Jadeja asked Ajinkya Rahane if the five-bowler strategy was decided because India were behind in the series or because of the pitch and whether it will be the norm whenever he captains India.
The Mumbaikar responded that Ravindra Jadeja as an all-rounder was always under consideration but was not fit to be fielded in Adelaide, saying in this regard:
"This discussion was going on right from the beginning. Jadeja was not fit for the first Test, but we were considering to play five bowlers, with the fifth bowler being an all-rounder."
Ajinkya Rahane was effusive in his praise of Ravindra Jadeja for his all-round performance in the Melbourne Test. He added that the team management decided to play Jadeja and acknowledged that the pitch conditions play a role in such calls.
"We saw that in this Test match. Jadeja's contribution on the field, then first with the bat and after that his bowling. Combination changes sometimes based on the wicket but we felt that we should play Jadeja in this match," pointed out Ajinkya Rahane.
Ajinkya Rahane signed off by observing that Jadeja's inclusion turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as Umesh Yadav was rendered hors de combat during the Australian second innings.
"Luckily in the second innings after Umesh got injured, playing a fifth bowler proved to be handy," concluded Ajinkya Rahane.
It was certainly a bold call by Ajinkya Rahane and the team management to play an all-rounder in the form of Ravindra Jadeja instead of a batsman in the Boxing Day Test in the aftermath of the Adelaide batting debacle.
The decision paid rich dividends, as Jadeja starred with both the bat and the ball. The southpaw scored a crucial 57 in the first innings and then accounted for three Australian wickets in the Test match apart from his usual brilliant performances in the field.
Published 29 Dec 2020, 13:14 IST