Without exception, Indian cricket fans will agree that stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane can take the lion’s share of credit for India’s epic turnaround during the 2020-21 tour of Australia, but the man himself says “someone else took the credit” for the decisions that he made to revive the team after the disastrous 36 all out in the Adelaide Test. Rahane has made the revelation in an episode of ‘Backstage With Boria’, an interview-based show presented by veteran sports journalist and writer Boria Majumdar.
When regular captain Virat Kohli flew out of Australia, following the controversy generated by India’s humiliating loss at Adelaide, Rahane took over the mantle of captaincy when the going was truly tough. Incredibly, he and the boys in blue scripted one of the most amazing turnarounds in Test cricket history when India came back to win the second Test at Melbourne by eight wickets, with Rahane playing a captain’s knock to score a magnificent hundred.
“I know what I’ve done there. I don’t need to tell anyone. That’s not my nature to go and take credit. Yes, there were some things that I took the decisions (for) on the field or in the dressing room, but someone else took the credit for it,” Rahane told Majumdar. “(What was) important for me was that we won the series. That was a historical series and for me, that was really special.”
While Rahane did not name names, some are of the opinion that his comments could be a veiled attack against then head coach Ravi Shastri, who was widely praised for the team’s performance and hailed as the architect of India’s turnaround, particularly given the number of injuries in the dressing room through the tour. Shastri himself did not publicly credit Rahane for the team’s performance, though he spent considerable time speaking to the media on behalf of the team.
Of course, Rahane did earn props from the cricket fraternity for the manner in which he led the team not just in Melbourne but throughout the four-match series. “After that, the reactions from people or those who took credit or what was said on the media, ‘I did this’ or ‘This was my decision’, or ‘This was my call’, it was for them to talk about,” Rahane said on the show. “From my end, I knew what decisions I took on the field and what decisions I took on my instincts.”