It certainly was a turnaround that will go down in cricketing lore. Team India’s magnificent Test victory in Melbourne showed grit and determination galore. After being shot out for a humiliating 36 runs in the second innings of the Adelaide Test, the boys had their backs against the wall. Then they had to deal with their leader and batting talisman Virat Kohli returning home for the birth of his first child. Add to this the absence of frontline pacer Mohammed Shami due to injury, and it’s not difficult to see that stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane had his task cut out.
In fact, after the Adelaide debacle it would have been tempting for the team to simply throw in the towel. But the boys proved they were made of sterner stuff. Four changes were made to the squad and all four – debutants Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj, Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja – came good in this match. The discipline was back too with the team holding on to almost all of its catches. And with the bowling remaining tight in addition to Rahane’s astute field placing.
After registering an emphatic eight wicket win Rahane – whose calm and composed demeanour clearly had a positive impact on the team – revealed how he had encouraged his teammates to forget about Adelaide. It’s a boon for Indian cricket that we can count on both Kohli and Rahane – two very different personalities with their own strengths – to lead the squad. Perhaps therein lies a lesson for the country as well. There is no dearth of resources and talent in India. Utilising all available human capital can see the country turn around from any dire situation. That’s precisely what we need in 2021 to overcome the Covid induced gloom. Team India can surely be our inspiration.
This piece appeared as an editorial opinion in the print edition of The Times of India.
END OF ARTICLE