Ajinkya Rahane revealed he had watched videos of Sachin Tendulkar batting in Melbourne before he went into the Boxing Day Test against Australia, where his gritty century set up India’s win that turned the series around for them.
Taking over the team’s reins after the Adelaide humiliation , Ajinkya Rahane had led from the front in the Boxing Day Test, producing a master-class 112.
“I saw Sachin’s innings in which he got a hundred at the MCG when he was the captain. I got 116 in that game, I was watching his innings. I watched it 10 times on the previous night and the morning of the game around 6-7 times. He and Dravid are my role models,” he told Sports Today.
After his 112 in the Boxing Day Test, Rahane had said his century at Lord’s was his best.
However, the 32-year-old said he didn’t quite realise the value of his Melbourne effort that eventually became a building block for India’s 2-1 series win against Australia.
“For me whenever I get runs and when we win. I think for me that is something really special. Winning the Test match and winning the series is the priority for me rather than my own achievements.
“But yes Melbourne Test hundred was really special. I said in Melbourne that my Lord’s hundred was special but many people told me that I think Melbourne hundred was better than my Lord’s hundred.
“I did not know how to react to that. But now I realised, given the circumstances after the Adelaide Test match, Melbourne Test was really crucial for the series and yes I thought Melbourne innings was really special,” Rahane further said.
India were bundled out for their lowest-ever Test score of 36 in their second innings as Australia claimed an eight-wicket win in the series-opener to take a 1-0 lead in the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
However, the Indian team, despite not having Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami, rose to the occasion in the next Test with stand-in skipper Rahane leading the side to a memorable victory.
“Our motive was to fight till the end. We fought well in Melbourne, before the Sydney Test match and we got the result. We played really well in Sydney. On the 5th day we decided that we’re going to take it one session at a time, let’s not think about the result, let’s not look at the scoreboard. Let’s play our game and then we’ll assess after Tea,” he said.
“So keeping our cricket really simple really helped us a lot. We were talking about partnerships, helping our team win, take our team to a good total and giving each and every individual that freedom to play their game. That’s how I feel everyone could express themselves and play their game.”
(With inputs from PTI)