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Ajinkya Rahane joins India cricket greats with a win on Test captaincy debut

Ajinkya Rahane led the Indian cricket team in the all-important fourth Test against Australia in Dharamsala. Rahane’s quickfire knock on Tuesday helped India race to an eight-wicket win in Dharamsala

cricket Updated: Mar 28, 2017 11:38 IST
india vs australia

Ajinkya Rahane plays a pull shot on Day 4 of the fourth Test in Dharamsala on Tuesday. Rahane scored a brisk 38 as India won the Test by 8 wickets to clinch the series 2-1

Ajinkya Rahane became the ninth Indian captain after Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Polly Umrigar, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag and Anil Kumble to win his first Test match as captain. (HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)

India’s eight-wicket win over Australia in the fourth and final Test match at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala on Tuesday was first under Ajinkya Rahane, who led India for the first time after playing 36 Test matches.

Regular Indian skipper Virat Kohli missed the Dharamsala Test against Australia due to an injury. The young Test captain had led India in 26 Test matches winning 16, losing three and drawing seven.

Ajinkya Rahane’s cameo helped India race to victory on Tuesday. The stand-in skipper came in after Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara left in quick succession in the morning session.

But Rahane’s undefeated 60-run stand with Lokesh Rahul (51 not out) helped India win comfortably. Rahane was unbeaten on 38. The knock came off 27 balls and was laced with four fours and two sixes.

“Rahane led the team brilliantly after losing the toss. The fast bowlers throughout the season have bowled brilliantly. The positives have been adapting to conditions,” said coach Anil Kumble.

“We have had almost 25 players starting from West Indies. All 25 have stood up in different conditions. Even the new home venues, we didn’t know how those pitches would behave. Everybody put his hand up,” said a happy coach.

(With inputs from S. Pervez Qaiser)