Ajinkya Rahane’s century of battles highlighted India’s dominance on Day 2 of his second test against Australia at MCG on Sunday. When Virat Kohli returned home, the stand-in captain Rahane took on a tremendous task leading the team with confidence after Adelaide’s collapse, and he did so by leading from the front. On Sunday, Rahane hit the 12th century, pulling India from the stump to 277/5 and scored 82.
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Former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody looked back on Rahane’s challenging knock and said it was virtually impossible to guess what kind of pressure he was going into the game. Moody praised Rahane for not only playing captain innings and leading the team in the lead, but also for emphasizing the true meaning of leadership.
“For me the score was 61 when he came in. As soon as he arrived, another turnstile fell. So it looks like India hit 63/3, because all the pressure built up for this test match… was not without Virat Kohli, one of the best players in the world and captain of this team. His miserable performance in Adelaide would make it impossible to imagine the pressure he was under,” Moody told ESPNCricinfo.
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“But did it look like that to me? Definitely not. He looked calm, showed control and showed what leadership is. Leadership is about action and his actions are’I’m honing this. I will show you training, a little maturity, and let my innings unfold and bloom for you to enjoy all.”
Moody was particularly impressed with the calming celebration after Rahane reached the three-digit mark. In 96, Rahane failed Pat Cummins’ deliveries four times, but unlike the man he stood as captain of the Indian team, he didn’t scream, pump his fists, or jump in the air. Taking off the helmet and gently lifting the bat, Rahane let him know that the task was not done.
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“And the way he recognized his bag was the most special part of that inning. A similar player from Tasman Kane Williamson admitted 100 matches against Pakistan in a very similar modest manner. And I like to see these players. Everyone knows they’ve climbed Everest, but they’re happy to nod and lift the bat,” pointed out the former all-around player.