Shastri hails India's Melbourne comeback, lauds Rahane

SHOWS: MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA (DECEMBER 29, 2020) (REUTERS PICTURES - AAP IMAGE/SCOTT BARBOUR VIA REUTERS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. AUSTRALIA OUT. NEW ZEALAND OUT.)

1. PLAYERS SHAKE HANDS AT THE END OF THE MATCH

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA (DECEMBER 29, 2020) (BCCI - ACCESS ALL)

2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RAVI SHASTRI, INDIA COACH, SAYING:

"I think this will go down in the annals of Indian cricket, world cricket, as one of the great comebacks in the history of the game.

"To be rolled over for 36, and then three days later, to get up and be ready to punch was outstanding.

"I think the boys deserve all the credit for the character they showed, real character."

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA (DECEMBER 29, 2020) (REUTERS PICTURES - AAP IMAGE/SCOTT BARBOUR VIA REUTERS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. AUSTRALIA OUT. NEW ZEALAND OUT.)

3. AUSTRALIA CAPTAIN TIM PAINE SHAKES HANDS WITH INDIA CAPTAIN AJINKYA RAHANE

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA (DECEMBER 29, 2020) (BCCI - ACCESS ALL)

4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RAVI SHASTRI, INDIA COACH, SAYING:

"I think it was the innings of Ajinkya Rahane, the discipline on such a big stage in a massive arena, to come as captain of the team, to bat number four.

"He went out to bat we were two down for 60, and then to bat for six hours on probably the toughest day to bat, it was overcast all day, the sun never came out, and he batted for six hours, unbelievable concentration. I thought that was the turning point, his innings was the turning point."

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA (DECEMBER 29, 2020) (REUTERS PICTURES - AAP IMAGE/SCOTT BARBOUR VIA REUTERS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. AUSTRALIA OUT. NEW ZEALAND OUT.)

5. THE AUSTRALIA TEAM WALK OFF THE FIELD

STORY: India coach Ravi Shastri described his team's eight-wicket victory in the Boxing Day test against Australia as one of the greatest comebacks in the game's history and lauded stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane for masterminding it.

Under Rahane, India showed great resilience after being thrashed inside three days in the series opener in Adelaide where they registered their lowest innings total of 36.

Despite missing regular skipper Virat Kohli, who is on paternity leave, and injured quick Mohammed Shami, the tourists levelled the four-test series 1-1 with Rahane leading by example with a sparkling century.

"I think this will go down in the annals of Indian cricket, world cricket, as one of the great comebacks in the history of the game," Shastri told a video conference on Tuesday (December 29).

"To be rolled over for 36, and then three days later, to get up and be ready to punch was outstanding.

"The boys deserve all the credit for the character they showed, real character."

Rahane promoted himself to Kohli's number four position and struck the only century in the bowler-dominated contest, which also earned him the player-of-the-match award.

"He went out to bat we were two down for 60, and then to bat for six hours on probably the toughest day to bat, it was overcast all day, the sun never came out, and he batted for six hours, unbelievable concentration. I thought that was the turning point, his innings was the turning point."

Shastri felt Rahane's quiet leadership, which contrasts Kohli's animated captaincy, helped the bowlers and debutants Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj.

Quick Umesh Yadav left the field on Monday after sustaining a calf injury but skipper Rahane was confident of his availability for the third test from Jan. 7.

(Production: Andy Ragg)