Melbourne: India's stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane not only led the team to a memorable win in the second Test of the series against Australia on Tuesday, but also joined an elite list after his batting masterclass in the Boxing Day Test.
The middle-order batsman added another feather to his cap as his name was engraved on the MCG Honours Board for the second time after he hit a masterful hundred in the first innings. "Following a batting masterclass in the Boxing Day Test against Australia, #TeamIndia captain @ajinkyarahane has his name engraved on the MCG Honours Board for the second time," Indian Cricket Team captioned the video on Instagram.
Rahane was also the inaugural winner of the Mullagh Medal after he won the Man of the Match award in the second Test. The Boxing Day Test Player of the Match medal has been named in honour of trailblazing Indigenous cricketer Johnny Mullagh.
Rahane refused to take credit for his Man of the Match show in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Having hit the winning run to seal the win on Tuesday, the batsman immediately pointed at the brilliant show put on by the team.
"Really proud of all the players. Played really well. Want to give credit to the debutants (Mohammed) Siraj and (Shubman) Gill, the character they showed after the Adelaide loss was great to see," he said in the post-match presentation.
Harping on the need to show character after being hammered in the pink-ball Test at the Adelaide Oval, Rahane said: "Character was important for us, especially after losing Umesh in the second innings. That (five-bowler plan) worked well for us nicely. We were thinking of having an all-rounder and Jadeja has been brilliant for us."
While Gill didn't put the stands on fire, he definitely weathered the fire thrown at him by the duo of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. And Rahane was quick to point out how the youngster stood tall. He also praised Siraj for standing up and getting counted, especially with India missing Umesh in the second innings.
"Shubman, we all know his first-class career and in this game, he has shown the intent to play shots at this level. Has shown composure. Siraj has shown that he can bowl with discipline. It's really difficult for debutants to bowl with discipline but that's where I think the first-class experience comes in handy," he pointed.
Commenting on the talk in the dressing room after losing the first Test, he said: "The talk was all about showing the attitude and intent on the field. As I said, character. Adelaide was about one hour that took the game away from us. Lots to learn for even now. Australia applied themselves with their last five wickets."