Although Rahane was the Man of the Match, former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar credited Melbourne's win to the Indian new ball bowlers. The Indian team handed Australia an 8-wicket defeat in the second Test at Melbourne to level the four-match series 1-1.
Despite losing the toss, India still managed to restrict the Aussie batsman from a massive total and overcame the biggest hurdle of skittling out the hosts. Gavaskar highlighted on that very point and said that early wickets helped the mood remain optimistic in the Indian camp throughout the match.
With Rahane's 12th Test hundred, the visitors accumulated 326 runs in their first innings. The Indian side with the help of Jadeja, Pant and Rahane managed a healthy lead of 131 runs. In the second innings, the Indian bowlers coupled with top field placements. The Australian line-up was all out for 200. The Rahane-led team then comfortably chased down the 70-run target within 16 overs.
Gill can be a long-term prospect for team India: Sunil Gavaskar
The visitors had to make bold calls after the Adelaide defeat. The team management then decided to hand over Test debuts to opener Shubman Gill and fast bowler Mohammad Siraj in the Boxing Day encounter. However, it was one of the best calls as Siraj picked up five wickets across two innings. On the other end, Gill also aggregated 80 runs and helped Rahane on the other end when he hit the winning runs on Day 4.
Talking about Gill, Gavaskar said that he is going be a long-term prospect for India. However, the commentator didn't sound too confident about the youngsters batting position. It will be exciting to see if the management makes any changes, especially with Rohit Sharma, primed to return to the XI for the third Test.
Entire cricket fraternity expected Kohli's absence would be challenging for both India's line-up and performance. But all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja made his comeback after suffering a concussion and hamstring injury. His return made valuable contributions as he scored 57 in the first innings and scalping three wickets across two innings. Sunil Gavaskar termed his inclusion a bold decision as Jadeja bolstered India's all three departments.
India has now registered four test wins which are their most at a single away venue. Ajinkya Rahane & Co will now carry their good momentum into the remaining two Tests. Similarly, the Indian team can create an almost impossible feat of winning two consecutive matches.