After leading India to a 2-1 win in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test series at the Gabba as captain, Ajinkya Rahane said that he succeeded because the team had contributed.
Meanwhile, he was named Virat Kohli’s deputy as usual for the first two Tests of the four-match series at home against England, beginning on February 5 in Chennai.
There had been talks and speculation that Rahane, after helping India win two of the last three Tests in Australia, could replace Kohli as skipper. Rahane, however, was modest after helping his team beat Australia.
“I was emotional. I still don’t know how it happened and how to describe this victory. But credit to each and every individual. Especially after the Adelaide, everyone contributed. It was not about me. It was all about the team. I look good because everyone contributed so I don’t give importance to myself. It was all about the team. Everyone contributed. For us it was all about having that character on the field and having that fighting spirit on the field. That’s what I always believe in,” Rahane told reporters after the match.
“Attitude is really important, work ethics are really important. I would like to thank our support staff here who backed me a lot,” he added.
“Right now, I am thinking about enjoying this victory. We are not thinking about the England series. Once we land in India we will think of the England series,” added Rahane.
He also said that many of the players in the final Test, without much experience of Test cricket, have proved that you don’t need to play 50 or 100 Tests to perform and win against top quality opposition.
India coach Ravi Shastri lavished praise on Rahane for the way he marshalled limited resources.
“I think he is very simple, very calm and composed. When he is out there, he is not ruffled by anything. He even led from the front. His innings in Melbourne was the one that really set us back on track. To challenge Australia, get a lead and then force a win. We haven’t looked back since and that is tremendous,” Shastri added.
Rahane said that they did not discuss anything after the disastrous defeat in the first Test and started afresh.
“We didn’t discuss anything about Adelaide Test and what happened there. It was all about focusing on the Melbourne Test from there on. I’ve said that many times. We showed character on the field and were not thinking of results. We were giving confidence to each and every individual. Attitude was fantastic on the field. We had great determination,” he said.
India on Tuesday became the first team to conquer The Gabba in 33 years as they beat Australia by three wickets in the final Test and won the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy series 2-1.
Chasing 328, India achieved the target with three overs remaining on Day 5. Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant shone with the bat for visitors on the weary Brisbane wicket against the star-studded Australian bowling attack.
If Pant ensured India’s completion of the chase by remaining unbeaten on 89, opener Gill’s innings of 91 was the kickstart India needed.
Pujara with his marathon 211-ball knock of 56 runs was the steadying force that held India’s fort from end, eventually guiding the tourists towards history.
The Ajinkya Rahane-led team were comfortably placed after the second session of final day at 183/3, requiring another 145 runs in 37 overs from the post-Tea period.