India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour has recalled the tough times that followed after India’s 36 all out at Adelaide. This was India’s lowest ever Test score in their history and Rathour recalled how Team India transitioned into the captaincy of a new captain–Ajinkya Rahane.
“Yes, and it was a big thing. After the first Test match, many of the experts had written us off. Virat was leaving. Ajinkya was taking over as captain for the next Test. The responsibility was multi-fold. That Test match showed how good a player Ajinkya is,” Rathour told TOI in an exclusive chat.
He said Rahane led from the front as he was the one who hit the winning runs at MCG. He also scored a century which symbolised India’s grit Down Under.
“It was one of the better innings I have seen in my life. There was cloud cover that day, conditions weren’t most helpful. The kind of discipline he showed was outstanding. There was no restlessness, he didn’t try to create any shots, he waited for his time and showed great control outside the off-stump. I remember, in one of my conversations with him earlier, he had spoken about the ‘cut’ being his favourite shot. If you look at that innings, I think he played his first cut when he was close to his 100. It tells you what discipline he showed in that innings. The Aussies bowled extremely well in that game, especially in the first innings. So, it was even more special.”
He praised Ajinkya Rahane’s class as a batsman and said as a true cricketer learning will never cease to exist for the 32-year-old who has played ’70-odd Tests’
“As I said earlier, it’s a continuing process in learning. He’s played these 70-odd Tests and he’s been a standout player. He’s one guy in the team who can play the way he wants – he can raise the tempo and then again, be extremely solid. He is working hard to add more elements to his batting and it’s an ongoing process. It’s an area we’ve been discussing and I’m sure we’ll see bigger things moving forward. I’ve always believed batting is about scoring runs. It’s not about not getting out. A batsman should always look to score. Ajinkya is just the kind to do that. I understand that numbers matter, but at the same time it is the quality of the runs that you have scored and the situation you have scored them in. That way I believe Ajinkya has played some extremely important innings for team India.”