India vs Australia: Brad Haddin points out a tactical move Ajinkya Rahane made that was 'outstanding'
Indian stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane is getting praised by the fans and experts for his tactical decisions in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy. His brilliant captaincy had inspired the tourists to bounce back strongly in Melbourne. Later in Sydney, he went on to make some crucial changes to the batting order which helped India pull off a memorable draw against the Aussies.
While chasing a huge 407-run total, India lost top three batsmen, including Rahane, at a score of 102 runs. That was the moment when the stand-in captain decided to promote Rishabh Pant at No.5.
The Indian wicketkeeper-batsman, who suffered a blow on his elbow in the first innings, changed the course of the run-chase with his magnificent 97-run innings.
Impressed with this wise decision, former Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin applauded Rahane and called it ‘outstanding’.
“To be honest, I didn't see this coming at all. The way India performed yesterday when they could have just shut up shop and played for a draw, but the Pant tactical move by Rahane I thought was outstanding. If you have a closer look at it, he sent Pant out to try and move the game forward and Pant did exactly that,” Haddin told 'Sen Radio'.
“He played brave and he made Tim Paine make some decisions as captain on the last day which I thought tactically was really good. Then Vihari came in, and he's a very similar player to Pujara, they can just shut the game down and that’s exactly what he did,” Haddin added.
The 43-year-old also hailed the fight and character of the Indian players in the absence of their top performer.
“Rahane hasn't lost the game as captain; he was really brave yesterday to give India a little sniff. I thought the runs were always too much for them, but he gave them a sniff,” he said further.
“They're showing some really, really good character this India team. They've got a lot of injuries, they've lost their captain, they've lost three fast bowlers, Jadeja's got a busted thumb. They're showing a lot of character,” he added.
The visitors have been marred by injuries in the ongoing tour and entered the third Test here without the services of pacers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav. Regular skipper Virat Kohli is on paternity leave.
During the match, Pant (elbow), Ravichandran Ashwin (sore back), Ravindra Jadeja (fractured thumb) and Vihari (hamstring) also suffered injuries. Adding to the woes of team India, pacer Jasprit Bumrah was also ruled out with an abdominal injury on Monday.
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