India head coach Ravi Shastri on Tuesday described stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane as a “shrewd” leader, whose calm demeanour is in sharp contrast to regular skipper Virat Kohli’s “passionate” approach.
Rahane has earned plaudits for not just his match-winning hundred in the second Test against Australia but for also displaying fine tactical acumen while handling the resources at his disposal.
“He is a very shrewd leader and a good reader of the game. I thought his calm composure out there helped the debutants as well as the bowlers. There was a calming influence out there inspite of losing Umesh,” Shastri said after the eight-wicket triumph in the second Test that helped India draw level in the four-match series.
Shastri was also asked about the difference in captaincy style of Rahane and Kohli, who is currently on paternity leave.
“See, both are good readers of the game, Virat is very passionate, Ajinkya, on the other hand, is very calm and composed, and it’s their characters.
“Virat is more in your face while Ajinkya is quite prepared to sit back in a very calm and composed manner, but deep inside he knows what he wants,” he opined.
The former batsman declared Rahane’s hundred as the turning point of the second Test, calling his knock a display of “unbelievable concentration”.
A dogged 112 by Rahane helped India gain a crucial 131-run lead in the first innings. India then bundled out the hosts for 200 in their second essay and then chased the 70-run target with ease
“The discipline, you know on such a big stage…When he (Rahane) went out to bat, we were 2 down for 60, and then to bat six hours, on probably the toughest day to bat, because it was overcast all day and he batted for six hours, unbelievable concentration,” he recalled.
“I thought that was the turning point. His innings was the turning point,” he added at the post-match virtual press conference.
Rahane’s knock in the first innings came in 223 balls and he hit 12 fours during it. The third Test of the series begins from January 7.