The former legendary cricketers praised the changes in bowling of the captaincy captain Ajinkya Rahane, who led the team in the second Test against Australia, which enabled the Indian team to dominate on the first day of the match on Saturday. Australia decided to bat after winning the toss in the ‘Boxing Day’ Test but Rahane sensibly changed the bowling to keep the pressure on the batsmen of the hosts.
Whether it was to give veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin a chance to bowl early or to bowl debutant Mohammad Siraj, Rahane’s decision proved to be a better one, leaving the Australian team’s first innings at 195 runs. Former India opener Virender Sehwag tweeted, “Rahane has made a brilliant change in bowling and shown cleverness in putting the fielders in the right place.” The bowlers also gave the result. Ashwin, Bumrah, Siraj were brilliant. All out for Australia on the first day at 195 is a great effort. It is now up to the batsmen to take a big lead in the first innings.
Rahane is leading the side after regular captain Virat Kohli goes on paternity leave. Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting also credited Rahane for India’s success on the first day. He (Rahane’s captaincy) has been fantastic then. We were all worried about how he would return after Adelaide. I think they were better today. ‘ Ponting said, “Rahane was completely accurate in terms of changes in bowling and putting the fielders in the right place. He made some wicket plans including making a catch at leg slip and sending Steve Smith to the pavilion. Joe Burns was also out in the way he wanted.
Bumrah (four wickets for 56 runs) showed Australia’s four batsmen the way to the pavilion while Siraj (two wickets for 40 runs) got two successes. Former Australia veteran spinner Shane Warne was also impressed with Rahane. He tweeted, ‘Great day of cricket at MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground). Congratulations to the fielders for preparing such a great pitch after a long time. Such pitches should be more. The Indian bowlers were excellent today and Rahane led brilliantly. Can the Indian team bat all day tomorrow?
Former veteran Indian batsman VVS Laxman looked impressed with debutant Shubman Gill and Mohammad Siraj with captain Rahane. He tweeted, ‘India performed brilliantly today. The bowlers impressed once again, both the players making their debut looked confident, Rahane captained brilliantly and most importantly the team had overtaken the Adelaide defeat.