Ajinkya Rahane admitted that it was special to be able to score a ton as a skipper in a Boxing Day Test, but stated that he still rated the Lord’s century in 2014 as his best-ever Test knock. Rahane also spoke of his captaincy and handpicked instinct as the most important quality of a good leader.
In a span of a week, Ajinkya Rahane has gone from a player under scrutiny to India’s most-loved cricketer, and a lot of that can largely be attributed to his performance with the bat on Day 2. Under pressure with the game in the balance, the stand-in skipper unleashed a phlegmatic, measured assault on Aussies to bring up a startling ton, the 12th of his career and his first as a skipper.
The daunting conditions coupled with the quality of Australia’s pace attack has seen many label the 32-year-old’s efforts on Sunday as his best ever in Indian whites, but speaking to the host broadcaster post Day 3, the Indian skipper begged to differ.
Rahane admitted that the Boxing Day ton was special, but chose the 103 at Lord’s against England in 2014 as his best ever. The Lord’s effort was Rahane’s second-ever century in Test cricket, and his knock, in that game, proved to be pivotal to a famous away win.
“It was really special (the ton on Sunday). Getting a century always is. Still feel that my hundred against England at Lord’s is my best,” Rahane said after Day 3.
The ongoing Boxing Day Test is Rahane’s third Test as skipper, and he, thus far, has an unblemished 100% record as a Test skipper. The 32-year-old has been shrewd and proactive across the first three days, and he revealed that his instinctiveness as the single most important trait for a leader.
“Captaincy is all about backing your instinct. You’ve got to back your gut feeling,” the Indian stand-in skipper said.
Rahane could very well have gone on to score a daddy hundred, yet his knock was tragically cut short after a mix-up with Jadeja. The all-rounder called for a quick single to complete his fifty, but the risky nature of the run saw Rahane fall short of his ground. The Indian skipper, however, was immediately seen patting Jadeja on the shoulder, and speaking on the incident, Rahane revealed that he advised the southpaw to not worry and put the mishap behind him.
“I initially thought I was in ((On the run out)). I told him (Jadeja) not to worry about my run out and to keep doing well,” the 32-year-old concluded.