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Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli added 262 runs for fourth wicket on day three at the MCG


Dec 28, 2014
Melbourne

Centuries from Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli ensured that India showed some kind of a fightback on the 3rd day of the 3rd Test between India and Australia at the MCG.

After loosing Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay cheaply in the morning, Rahane and Kohli batted with abundance and took the attack to the Australian fast bowlers. Rahane in particular was impressive in attacking anything short that was bowled to him and he took the charge in the partnership with Kohli.

Virat Kohli showed the maturity in the best innings that he has played on this toured and he let Rahane play the attacker's part. Ajinkya Rahane was severe when it came to short bowling from Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris.

Rahane hared to his highest test score of 147 and his 3rd century of his test career. After his dismissal, the debutant KL Rahul had a short but adventurous stay at the wicket. He was dropped of his second ball by substitute Peter Siddle, before getting out to Lyon, trying to sweep him out of the Melbourne cricket ground.

Australia struck back with quick wickets of MS Dhoni and R.Ashwin to go on the top, before getting the prized wicket of Virat Kohli, who was brilliantly caught by Brad Haddin off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson in the last over of the day's play. Kohli made his highest score in test cricket with this matured innings of 169.

India are now 68 runs behind with 2 wickets in hand. They will pray that the tail wags and they can at least wipe off the deficit and then hope to bowl out Australia for something reasonable to chase on the final day.

 Fact: The partnership of 262 between Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli is the second 250 partnership in 90 years on this ground by a visiting team.
The last such partnership was when England openers Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe posted a 283 run stand in 1925.

They say history repeats itself. Well, it did repeat the 2011 ordeal for India again. Saving the Lord's test win, India lost the 5 test series 1-0 up, loosing the last 3 tests by big margins.

Now India are set to play England in  another 5 ODI series. Last time they lost the series 3-0 to the English. Even in the ODI series then, Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane played a big role along with MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. But still India lost the series and the lone T20 match.

Now India has a lot to avenge after the humiliating loss in the test series. They would be helped by the return of ODI specialist Suresh Raina, who brings an attacking brand of cricket, electric fielding and a general sense of enthusiasm in the team. Also inclusion of Mohit Sharma will give the tired legs of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar a chance to rest. His tiredness was visible in the final 2 tests of the series.

The famed Indian batting lineup, failed in the final 3 tests of the series but in ODI format, it is a different matter altogether. India are ranked number 2 in the ODI list. Indian team won the Champions trophy last year which was held in England, beating England in the final.

India also defeated Middlesex in the only practice game they got to play. The main stars of the match were Virat Kohli, who scored a century and leg spinner Karn Sharma, who picked up 3 wickets.

It would be interesting to see what lineup Dhoni selects. With the form of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma's problem against swing at high pace as seen in South Africa and New Zealand, Dhoni might want to open with Ajinkya Rahane along with Shikhar Dhawan.

It would also be interesting to see the pace and spin combination he decides to go with. With Mohd.Shami, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron,Dhawal Kulkarni,Mohit Sharma at his disposal and the addition of Karn Sharma, it would be really interesting to see the team combination.
                                                                                                                                                                            


As with England, they have a settled ODI lineup and with the inclusion of the explosive Alex Hales, they are more than ready to take on the Indian team.

The series is sure poised to be a cracker and India is expected to perform more credibly than they did in the test series.

The first ODI will be played in Bristol and live telecast will start at 3.00 pm IST.

Squads:
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhawal Kulkarni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Sanju Samson, Karn Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

England: Alastair Cook, (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes.

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