Australia’s pace spearhead Mitchell Starc has praised India captain Ajinkya Rahane for his scintilating 104-run knock against his side in the ongoing Boxing Day Test match in Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Starc, who on Sunday himself became the 5th fastest Australian bolwer to reach to 250 Test wickets, said that the 32-year-old absorbed pressure and steadied India’s innings which was under pressure after the departure of Cheteshwar Pujara.
However, Starc also said that they could have got the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane on “four or five occasions” before he reached his hundred.
“It (the knock by Rahane) was pretty good. He absorbed some pressure there and sort of steadied the ship for them, at (a time) when they were still behind our score,” Starc said at the virtual post-day press conference.
“He (Rahane) has batted really well there, he took his chances and we probably could have got him out three or four or maybe five times before he got a hundred, but he’s run his luck there and scored a good hundred. Well done to him,” added the left-arm pacer.
“So Jinxy (Rahane) batted pretty well throughout the day, (there were a) couple of really good partnerships. I thought there was really good stuff from us as well, we couldn’t capitalise on some of the chances we created, to finish in a better position. So, just got to back up tomorrow and take five wickets as quick as we can,” added Starc, summing up the day’s play.
Mitchell Starc dismissed Rishabh Pant to become the 9th Australia to scalp 250 Test wickets. Reflecting on the milestones, he said taking the remaining 5 Indian wickets was more important.
“I don’t think I have really been one for personal milestones, we have got five more wickets to take in the first innings, so it is nice one to have there, to reflect on, but probably once I am done with cricket.
“But I guess it is nice to take a few wickets and I guess to be there long enough to take 250 (wickets) is very nice. But we have got 15 wickets to take in this Test match to get ourselves in a position to win, so for me it is come-back tomorrow and try and take another five.
“…it is important for us when we get a chance to bat again, to bat really big and (get) back us into the game again,” the 30-year-old pacer added.
At the end of Day 2 India had gained a solid lead of 82 runs.