Ajinkya Rahane was all class after being burned by a teammate, displaying the kind of leadership that shows why he is captaining India in Virat Kohli’s absence.
Ravindra Jadeja was on 49 when he blocked Nathan Lyon into the off side and called Rahane through for a quick single, hoping to bring up his half century inside the first session of day three in Melbourne.
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He didn’t count on Marnus Labuschagne though, and an excellent pick-up and throw from the Aussie star saw Rahane run out for a classy 112.
Rahane had every right to be filthy with Jadeja for taking such an unnecessary risk, but instead encouraged his batting partner when he found out he’d been dismissed.
The Indian pair stood in the middle of the pitch together and when Rahane learnt his fate from the third umpire, rather than spitting the dummy, he punched Jadeja’s glove in solidarity and gave him a tap on the chest, urging him not to worry about it and to keep pushing on with his own innings.
It was seriously classy stuff from a man who has been superb with the bat and with his decision-making in the field after taking over the captaincy from Kohli, who has flown home for the birth of his first child.
Australian legend Michael Hussey said in commentary for Fox Sports the touching gesture was proof of Rahane’s brilliant leadership — and others agreed.
Former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody tweeted: “Again @ajinkyarahane88 showing leadership begins with actions, his response to his fate was true of a genuine team man!”
World Cup winner Brad Hogg added: “Fantastic knock by Rahane! But the ultimate moment is his reaction after the decision, encouraging Jadeja with positive body language. True team man.”
Philip Dalidakis wrote: “Rahane all class. Gives Jadeja a pat and says don’t worry about it. Such good leadership.”
Jadeja did make it to 50 but fell shortly after in the face of a short ball barrage from the Australian quicks.
The all-rounder slapped a Mitchell Starc bouncer out of the middle of the bat but found Pat Cummins deep on the leg side, the fast bowler taking an excellent juggling catch to send Jadeja on his way for 57.