'Steve Waugh rang me up before the Test... knew it was red flag for Australia': Langer's sensational Rahane revelation

Jun 10, 2023 01:16 PM IST

En route to his knock, Langer revealed a sensational detail involving the role of the legendary Steve Waugh in Rahane's calm and composed approach.

India batter Ajinkya Rahane scripted a brilliant comeback on Friday on Day 3 of World Test Championship final against Australia at The Oval. Playing his first match for India since being axed for the Sri Lanka Test series at home in March 2022, Rahane emerged as the leading run-getter in an otherwise concerning show for the Indian side in London with a knock of 89 which, with able assistance from Shardul Thakur, helped the team avoid follow-on. En route to his knock, former Australia coach Justin Langer revealed a sensational detail involving the role of the legendary Steve Waugh in Rahane's calm and composed approach.

Ajinkya Rahane; Steve Waugh
Ajinkya Rahane; Steve Waugh

Speaking on-air on Day 3 of the WTC final, Langer recalled the 2021/22 Border-Gavaskar Test series when the former Australia skipper had called him up. Langer was then the Australia head coach, aiming to guide his side to avenge their loss in the 2018/19 series at home against the Virat Kohli-led Team India.

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The 52-year-old said that Waugh opened up to him saying that he was having a lot of conversations with Rahane, probably mentoring him as well leading to that series. And Langer knew that it wasn't a pleasant revelation for him as his nightmare came true later in that series when Rahane inspired the injury-laden and Kohli-less Indian side to a comeback of ages with a century in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

“Before the series started Steve Waugh, my hero, he rang me and said I was going to be transparent. I wanna be honest I’m having some conversations with Rahane…doing a bit of mentoring him leading to that series,” Langer said on air.

“Not Steve Waugh, the iceman and we saw that calmness in Rahane, we saw the way he played in that series and when I knew he was talking to Steve, it was red flags for me,” he added.

It wasn't, what could have been a well-deserved century for Rahane on Friday as Pat Cummins dismissed him for 89 runs off 129 balls. But for a player out for nearly 18 months and with no guarantee over his future in the side, it was indeed a sensational knock as he revived India from 71 for 4 in 18.2 overs to 296.

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