After two-and-half sessions on Day One, Ajinkya Rahane has certainly met all the expectations with his calm demeanor and shrewd tactics on the field.
The change in leadership for India in the 2nd Test was a massive talking point, after Virat Kohli left for India for the birth of his first child. Add to that Mohammed Shami's absence, and the onus was on Ajinkya Rahane to lead the side after the debacle at Adelaide.
Against all odds, Rahane was steadfast with his bowling changes and field placements. Australia's best batsman, Steve Smith was the first victim of the astute strategies by the Indians. Smith holed out to leg slip off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin, a trap laid specifically for the Aussie star.
Travis Head was caught at gully by Ajinkya Rahane himself while Marnus Labuchagne hit one straight to widish leg slip. Such accurate leg side-dominated field placements come few and far between in Test matches.
They were certainly backed by meticulous planning and on-field acumen by Rahane and the team management. On the bowling front, India opened with Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah. Both the pacers were used assiduously in short spells.
In a surprise change, Ravichandran Ashwin was brought ahead of debutant pacer Mohammed Siraj. The move paid dividends as Ashwin first got a threatening Matthew Wade and then took the prized wicket of Smith.
Siraj was bowled right after the lunch, a move which allowed him to settle into his groove and later take two crucial wickets. Notably, Ajinkya Rahane kept with the spin-duo and Bumrah against the Aussie tail considering that Yadav had gone for runs earlier.
The 32-year-old looked calm throughout. He even denied three calls of reviews by his bowlers and all turned out to be spot on. Such was Rahane's top day on the field, that Twitter users praised the Indian captain's strategies.