When an injury ladened Team India managed to fight back against the mighty bowling attack of the Australians, a lot of praises were earned by the Men in Blue.
India managed to draw the third Test at Sydney and stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane’s tactical decisions in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy sure grabbed everyone’s attention.
One such move was to bring Rishabh Pant ahead of Hunuma Vihari while chasing a huge 407-run total. India had lost their top three batsmen, including Rahane, at a score of 102 and that was the moment when he decided to promote Pant at No.5.
The Indian wicketkeeper-batsman changed the course of the run-chase with his magnificent 97-run innings. Impressed with Rahane’s decision, former Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin applauded him and called the move ‘outstanding’.
“He played brave and he made Tim Paine make some decisions as captain on the last day which I thought tactically was really good. Then Vihari came in, and he’s a very similar player to Pujara, they can just shut the game down and that’s exactly what he did,” Haddin told Sen Radio.
The 43-year-old also hailed the fight the Indian players put up in the absence of their top performer. “Rahane hasn’t lost the game as captain; he was really brave yesterday to give India a little sniff. I thought the runs were always too much for them, but he gave them a sniff,” he added.
“They’re showing some really, really good character this India team. They’ve got a lot of injuries, they’ve lost their captain, they’ve lost three fast bowlers, Jadeja’s got a busted thumb. They’re showing a lot of character,” he further said.
The visitors have faced injury woes in the ongoing tour and are without the services of pacers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav. Regular skipper Virat Kohli is too on paternity leave.
During the match, Pant (elbow), Ravichandran Ashwin (sore back), Ravindra Jadeja (fractured thumb) and Vihari (hamstring) also suffered injuries. Now added to the list of injured players was Jasprit Bumrah, who was also ruled out with an abdominal injury on Monday.
“To be honest, I didn’t see this coming at all. The way India performed yesterday when they could have just shut up shop and played for a draw, but the Pant tactical move by Rahane I thought was outstanding. If you have a closer look at it, he sent Pant out to try and move the game forward and Pant did exactly that,” Haddin stated.
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