Ajinkya Rahane enjoys a cent percent captaincy record in the longest format so far.© AFP
India’s stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane earned plaudits for leading the team by example and guiding them to a memorable win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the Boxing Day Test against Australia. With this win, Rahane not only levelled the four-match Test series but also maintained his cent percent captaincy record in the longest format. In Virat Kohli’s absence, Rahane has led India thrice in Test cricket and emerged victorious on each occasion — twice against Australia and once against Afghanistan. If Team India manages to win the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Rahane would equal MS Dhoni’s record of winning first four Test matches as a skipper.
Rahane made his Test captaincy debut in 2017 against Australia in Dharamshala and led side to a comfortable eight-wicket victory. His second Test match as a captain was when India hosted Afghanistan in a historic match at Bengaluru’s M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in 2018. Last month’s Boxing Day Test was Rahane’s third consecutive win as a captain.
Apart from the captaincy record, Rahane also has the opportunity to cross several other remarkable feats. Rahane, who scored a match-defining century in the last Test match, has the opportunity to complete 1,000 Test runs on the Australian soil. He currently has 797 runs Down Under and needs 203 more runs to achieve the feat.
Rahane is among very few Indian batsman who boast of a superior batting average in overseas conditions (45.88) as compared to matches played on the home soil (39.28). Out of 67 Tests, he has played 40 matches away from home, scoring 2,891 runs and is just 109 runs shy of reaching 3,000 runs on foreign soil.
India have enjoyed a decent amount of success on Australian soil in the recent past but their record at the Sydney Cricket Ground is not something to write home about.
The visitors have player 12 Test matches at this venue and their only victory came way back in 1978 when India had won by an innings and two runs. However, the last two meetings in Sydney between the two sides ended in a draw and both teams would be hoping to change result in their favour.
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