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Sport India skipper Rahane says battling draw 'as good as winning'

11:50  11 january  2021
11:50  11 january  2021 Source:   msn.com

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India show incredible defiance to bat out the final day in a memorable draw with Australia in the third Test. India captain Ajinkya Rahane on BT Sport: "Our talk this morning was all about showing character and fight to the end and not think A draw between the two best cricket teams in the world.

Rahane was the in-form batsman for India as he is coming fresh from scoring a century in the previous Test at Melbourne. India were given a strong start by Former Australia skipper Allan Border has also criticised Pujara’s innings as he said that the Indian batsman was almost too scared to play a shot at

India skipper Ajinkya Rahane hailed his team's character Monday after they clung on for an unlikely draw in the third Test against Australia, saying the result felt like a win.

a group of baseball players standing on top of a field: India captain Ajinkya Rahane (C) said the third-Test result was 'really special' © DAVID GRAY India captain Ajinkya Rahane (C) said the third-Test result was 'really special'

Few gave India much chance when they began the day at 98-2, having lost openers Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma the previous afternoon and facing one of the world's leading attacks.

And when Rahane fell without adding to his overnight four in Monday's second over, the odds were even worse with another 309 runs needed to win.

But they battled hard as Rishabh Pant smashed a high-class 97 and the stoic Cheteshwar Pujara ground out 77.

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Skipper Virat Kohli hit an unbeaten 49 under pressure before India pulled off a tense draw on the final day of the first Test against England in Rajkot on Sunday. “It was a good cricket wicket. We were relentless with the ball, we didn't let India score too quickly. Adil (Rashid) stepped up to another level.”

India won the second Test in Bangalore to leave the series tantalisingly poised at 1-1 but simmering. Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell has been among the critics of the ICC's But Indian batting great VVS Laxman said it was only a matter of time before Kohli came good .

When that pair fell Hanuma Vihari, nursing a hamstring injury, survived 161 balls for 23 runs and Ravi Ashwin, who had treatment on his ribs, made 39.

The pair faced 256 balls and scored just 62 runs, helping steer India to 334 for five and safety at the close. The four-Test series stands at 1-1 ahead of the final game in Brisbane.

"This was as good as winning a Test match," said Rahane. "When you come abroad and play a match like this, it was really special, as good as a victory."


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What satisfied him most was the fight his team showed.

"Our talk coming into this morning was to show character and fight till the end. Not to think about the result," he said.

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Ajinkya Rahane has been handed over India ’s captaincy for the game and the right-hander has said that it’s a privilege to be leading the team in their “It’s a great moment for us as we embark on our Test journey. To be playing our first Test against India is a great honour and we hope to give a good

Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane during the course of India ’s win at HPCA Stadium etched his name in the record books after the Mumbai player became Rahane -led India showed fascinating character and game play when the all-round show from the batsmen as well as the bowlers anchored them to a

"So really happy with the way we fought especially today but also throughout the game, even in the first innings when Australia were 200 for two and getting them all out for 338 was really good."

The resilience shown by Vihari and Ashwin, coupled with Pant's fireworks, were major pluses for Rahane, particularly after the captain fell cheaply.

Pant was moved up to to number five ahead of Vihari to have the left-right combination with Pujara, a tactic that paid dividends.

"We had that strategy and it paid off. Credit to him (Pant) going out at five, the way he counter-attacked, the way he managed his innings throughout the day was really good to see.

"We know he can win a game for us from any situation, we have that belief and I think he is improving."

"And Vihari was batting really well. The last few Test matches, unfortunately he hasn't been able to get those big scores," Rahane added.

"But today, that knock was really special. To show that motivation, to show that hunger, to hang in there for your team was really good and that's what we want from each and every individual -- to show that character on the field."

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