Melbourne: Earlier in the day, India started off dominant with a lead of 82 runs and the lead kept counting as Rahane and Jadeja were looking to stretch their unbreakable partnership before the Aussies got their first breakthrough by running out Rahane in pursuit of completing a single for Jadeja to touch a deserving half-century.
Despite run out was not his fault on Day 3 of the second test match, Ajinkya Rahane was still in a good mental space. Australia could not get the worse out of Rahane. But more than him getting out was his gesture to motivate Jadeja to keep pushing get his much-deserved half-century that won millions of hearts in India and around the world on various social media platforms like Twitter, flooded with praises for the stand-in Captain of India.
Continuing his innings on Day 3 on a 104, Rahane got off to a good start and looked in sublime control, before he was run out by a brilliant fielding of Marnus Labuchagne and cut his innings short. Jadeja on the other hand was on 49 when he defended Nathan Lyon’s delivery towards offside, which induced him to take the single and Rahane followed it. What forced Jadeja to get his half-century was his frustration, and to be fair, Rahane had to go with it, rather than sending him back.
If you closely look at the picture of the runout, Rahane was in no danger of being short of his crease, and moreover the captain of Australia, Tim Paine was not convinced while hitting the wickets. As soon as the large screen replays the clip, it showed Rahane was on the line and was declared out for 112.
It was what happened after that scene caught the attention of Twitter users’ imagination. As soon the word ‘ OUT’ was flashed on the giant screen, Rahane straight away tapped Jadeja and told him to get to his half-century before he walked straight to the Pavillion.
This gesture of Rahane impressed the fans who took to Twitter and expressed how good Rahane is on and off and the field and also for his brilliant and selfless captaincy.
As soon as his departure, Jadeja did eventually get to his half-century but was soon out after attempting to attack Starc’s lethal bouncers. India went out to put 326 on the board, taking a lead of 131, and did put themselves in a dominant position.
India started off well with the early wicket of Joe Burns, followed by a sloppy partnership between Wade and Labuchagne before he was caught out on slip, that slightly turned the match in favor of India, with a score 48/2. Just as Steve Smith came in to bat, Australia looked quite comfortable with him getting over the mark.
Bumrah turned out to be smart and fed into the weakness of Steve Smith to the ball to his leg side that snuck off the bails that did not catch the eye of Bumrah nor Smith before Rahane started celebrating pointing towards the wickets.
It is from here on in that India got their confidence and took in charge of Australia with them losing three more wickets for just 5 runs, taking them from 94/3 to 99/6. Although the lead was 32 runs away, yet India had a chance to level the series with an innings victory. But the defense of Cummins and Green ensured them to go past the lead and stay unbeaten to follow on the next day.
Rahane at the post-match interview was not thinking of victory, but his technical mindset was just to take the 4 wickets as soon as possible and was not talking much about his success with the bat.
India will be looking to go all guns blazing against Australia to level the series tomorrow. The pitch has now become more batting friendly. India will be looking forward to taking full advantage of it ahead of the victory.