Boxing Day Test | Backed his bowlers well: Glenn McGrath lauds Ajinkya Rahane’s captaincy in 1st session
Australia opted to bat first the MCG on Saturday morning but the decision backfired as the hosts went three down for 65 at lunch.
Fast bowling legend and former Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath on Saturday was left impressed with Ajinkya Rahane‘s captaincy who is presently the stand-in skipper for the Indian team in the Boxing Day Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Australia opted to bat first the MCG on Saturday morning but the decision backfired as the hosts went three down for 65 at lunch. Jasprit Bumrah drew first blood, removing Joe Burns for a 10-ball duck while Ravichandran Ashwin picked three on the pitch that showed significant turn removing Matthew Wade and Steve Smith.
McGrath was left impressed with the manner in which Rahane backed his bowlers and maintained consistent pressure on the Aussies. The skipper bowled 13 of the 27 overs of spin in the opening session with the pitch offering enough for Ashwin. Ravindra Jadeja too bowled a few overs before lunch. On the dismissal of Smith for duck, he brought back Bumrah into the attack against the new batters at the crease.
“I thought Rahane did a good job. Backed his bowlers. He had four slips and a gully at one point. Once Smith came out, he kept the pressure by bringing back Bumrah. I thought his captaincy has been very good,” Glenn McGrath told Sony Six.
Former Indian cricketer Ajay Jadeja opined that crucial bowling decisions by Rahane helped India get the three early wickets.
“It was obvious that he started with Bumrah. But when Ashwin got Smith, it was interesting to see Rahane carrying on to attack. Generally, you see India’s bowling attacks have a pattern, but today, there was not a pattern. Normally, on the first day of a Test match, you don’t normally see 9 overs (13) from spinners. It wasn’t just from one end, it was from the other end. He preferred his spinners to use the moisture that existed before lunch. That’s a call he made and it was successful,” Jadeja said.