Indian cricket team’s stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane scored a brilliant century on Day 2 of the Boxing Day Test being played at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) between India and Australia. In the absence of Virat Kohli, the acting captain Ajinkya Rahane played a captain’s innings for India and led the team to a strong position at Stumps.
Rahane found a good partner in form of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (40 not out), with whom he has added 104 runs for the sixth wicket so far. Ajinkya Rahane remained unbeaten on 104 runs till stumps of the Day two’s play. In his remarkable century innings, Ajinkya Rahane has also attained many great records.
Ajinkya Rahane completed his 12th Test century with a beautiful cover drive off Josh Hazlewood”s delivery. With this, he became the fifth Indian captain to score a century on Australian soil. Rahane has so far faced 200 balls and hit 12 fours. Australia’s poor fielding also contributed to Rahane’s century.
Ajinkya Rahane was playing at 73 when Mitchell Starc (2/61) would have got Rahane’s wicket in the first over with the second new ball, but Steve Smith put down his catch. The Indian captain, after completing his century, got a second chance again on Starc’s short pitch ball. This time, Travis Head did not complete the catch and soon the Day’s play was called off early due to rain.
Indian captains who scored Test century in Australia:
Mohammad Azharuddin – 106 Adelaide 1991/92
Sachin Tendulkar – 116 – Melbourne 1999/2000
Sourav Ganguly – 144- Gaba 2003/04
Virat Kohli 115 & 141- Adelaide 2014/15
Virat Kohli- 147- Sydney-2014/15
Virat Kohli – 123 – Perth 2018/19
Ajinkya Rahane 104 * – Melbourne 2020/21
Asian batsmen, who scored a century in Melbourne twice:
Vinod Makand – 1948
Sadiq Mohammed – 1972 and 1977
Majid Khan – 1972 and 1979
Ajinkya Rahane – 2014 and 2020
Indian captain who scored a century in Melbourne as captain:
1999- Sachin Tendulkar (116)
2020- Ajinkya Rahane (104 *)
With this, Ajinkya Rahane is the first captain after Pakistan’s Mohammad Yusuf (111) in 2004, who has scored a century in Melbourne.
Speaking of Boxing Day Test, India had bowled out Australia for 195 runs in the first innings on first day of Ind vs Aus 2nd Test. Now, Indian team has a lead of 82 runs. India are trailing 0–1 in the series due to losing the first match in Adelaide by eight wickets.