India fortitude key to memorable Test win

Shayne Hope
·2-min read

Stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane declared character and attitude the basis of India's stunning turnaround as the tourists levelled the Border-Gavaskar series with an eight-wicket win in the Boxing Day Test.

Skittled for 36 in their second innings in Adelaide, India rebounded in spectacular fashion under huge pressure at the MCG, with Rahane at the forefront.

The 32-year-old was widely praised for his leadership in the field and produced a gritty century in the first innings that India great Sunil Gavaskar said would go down in history as one of the nation's most significant knocks.

Fittingly, Rahane hit the winning runs on day four to secure the result and square the series at 1-1.

"Character and attitude was really important going into the Test match but there's still lots to learn for us as a team," Rahane said.

"The Australians, as a team, for their last five wickets they batted really well and they applied themselves really well.

"It was hard for us because (we were down to) four bowlers but credit to each and every individual for showing their passion and their character and winning this Test match."

Umesh Yadav suffered a calf muscle injury on day three and is now in doubt for the third Test, starting on January 7.

India are already without experienced quicks Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami, and left-armer Thangarasu Natarajan could be added to the Test squad after a good run in limited overs matches this summer.

India's batting will almost certainly be bolstered by the inclusion of opener Rohit Sharma, who is out of quarantine on Wednesday and looks likely to replace Mayank Agarwal at the top of the order.

"Umesh is actually recovering well," Rahane said.

"Our medical staff will make the call and we have time before the third Test match.

"We are excited about Rohit coming back in the third Test team. I spoke to him yesterday and he's really excited about it."