Ajinkya Rahane is born to lead cricket teams: Ian Chappell

Ajinkya Rahane is born to lead cricket teams: Ian Chappell

Ian Chappell believes that if India retains the Border Gavaskar Trophy then Ajinkya Rahane will play a vital role and will have more Player of the Match awards under his belt.

Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell heaped praises on India’s stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane for his flawless leadership in the second Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground which the visiting nation won by 8 wickets against Australia. Chappell hailed Rahane as a “born leader” who is capable of being both “smart and brave”.

Detailing his opinion on the leadership qualities of Rahane, the 77-year-old said that he was not surprised seeing Rahane’s captaincy as he had done a similar job in a Test match against Australia at Dharamsala in 2017 in the absence of Virat Kohli. In that Dharamsala match, India had beaten Australia by eight wickets to wrap up the series 2-1.

“It was no surprise that Ajinkya Rahane captained India flawlessly at the MCG. Anyone who saw him in charge in Dharamsala in 2017 would have recognised a man born to lead cricket teams,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.

“There were a lot of similarities between that 2017 match and the one at the MCG. Firstly it was between the same two highly competitive rivals, then there was the valuable first-innings lower-order contribution from Ravindra Jadeja, and finally Rahane aggressively accumulating the required runs in a nervy pursuit of a moderate victory total,” Chappell added.

Ajinkya Rahane has earned the respect of his team-mates: Ian Chappell

Further, Chappell reckoned that Rahane has earned the respect of his teammates by stepping up and scoring runs for India at crucial stages. Notably, Rahane had scored a scintillating century in the first innings of the game to help his team post a decent total on the board. He was also adjudged the Player of the Match award for the same.

“That’s part of Rahane’s success as a skipper: he’s brave and smart. However, there’s much more to his leadership than just those two important qualities. He is calm when things could easily get out of hand.

“He has earned the respect of his team-mates, one of the most important aspects of good captaincy. And he gets runs when they are needed, which adds to the respect his team has for him,” said the former captain.

As of now, the four-match Border Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia is levelled at 1-1 as India won the second match at MCG while Australia had clinched the first game in Adelaide. Ian Chappell believes that if India retains the Border Gavaskar Trophy then Ajinkya Rahane will play a vital role and will have more Player of the Match awards under his belt.

“It’s helpful that they have a strong, calm leader and a vibrant spirit that has built up under the Kohli-Rahane-Ravi Shastri coalition. If India do go on to repeat their last tour’s success in Australia, the Mullagh medal won’t be the only gong Rahane receives.” Ian Chappell concluded.