Hundred of the absolute class by stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane (104) and classy 104 runs alongside Ravindra (40) anchored India above their opponents Australia, in the Boxing Day 2nd Test, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), on Sunday.
And at the end of the second day, India were 277 for five, with 82 runs amassed above the rivals first innings of 195.
The Mumbaikar promoted (No 4), Rahane saw the departure of young Shubman Gill, and Cheteshwar Pujara, this did not dither his mental strength as he went about clinically, thanks to some dropped catches one by his counter-part Tim Paine behind the stumps and later by Steven Smith in the slips, Rahane went about building partnerships 52, Hanuma Vihari and 57 with Rishabh Pant, and retied for the day putting on an unbeaten 104 runs with Jadeja.
Indian batting great Sunil Gavaskar has heaped rich praises on fellow Mumbaikar Rahane and called his innings a fantastic one. Rahane's unbeaten 104 off 200 balls was a typical Test match century according to the Little Master.
"It was a typical Test match century and a typical captain's innings, showing from the front how to play on a pitch which was never easy to bat on. This is a kind of a pitch where no batsman can say he is well set. There is something or the other happening, there is a lit bit of carry, the odd ball has kept low, there has been turn for Nathan Lyon. So, no batsman can tell to himself even if he is batting on 60-70 that he is well set and he can go on to get runs. Pujara fell after Ajinkya Rahane came to bat. Vihari and him were new," Sunil Gavaskar told on Sony Networks post Day 2 stumps.
To start with, Rahane was more watchful that he had ever been but as the day progressed, he went on to play some sumptuous shots and one of his day's best was the classic off-drive against Pat Cummins.
Australian speedster Mitchell Starc rued the chances his team squandered.
"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," the Australian pacer said.
"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."
Australia 1st Innings 195
India 1st Innings (Overnight 36-1)
M Agarwal lbw b Starc 0
S Gill c Paine b Cummins 45
C Pujara c Paine b Cummins 17
A Rahane batting 104
H Vihari c Smith b Lyon 21
R Pant c Paine b Starc 29
R Jadeja batting 40
Extras: (b-12, lb-6, nb-2, w-1) 21
TOTAL: (91.3 overs) 277-5
FoW: 1-0, 2-61, 3-64, 4-116, 5-173
BOWLING: M Starc 18.3-3-61-2, P Cummins 22-7-71-2, J Hazlewood 21-6-44-0, N Lyon 18-2-52-1, C Green 12-1-31-0