India's stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane
India's stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane
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Melbourne: India's stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane on Sunday accumulated the first half-century of the match as he reached 50 with a boundary on day two of the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

India reached 189 for 5 against Australia on the second day after rain forced an early tea.

Rahane's performance was hailed by both fans and former cricketers who called his well-built fifty as skipper's knock.

This was Rahane's 23rd half-century in Tests.

"Well played, Rahane. First half-century of the Test. Clapping hands signClapping hands sign And it’s already the fifth session," former Indian opener Aakash Chopra said.

Let's check out some reaction praising Rahane's batting performance:

Earlier, Rahane drew praise for his tactical acumen with former stars hailing his effective bowling changes that put the visitors in a dominating position in the second Test against Australia here on Saturday.

Rahane is leading the side in the absence of regular captain Virat Kohli, who is on paternity leave.

Whether it was the early introduction of off-spinner R Ashwin or the decision to hold back debutant Mohammed Siraj, all his ploys yielded results and eventually the hosts were all out for 195.

Australia opted to bat but it was India that seized the initiative with Rahane shuffling his bowlers smartly to keep the hosts under the pump.

Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said the credit to India's success on the opening day goes to Rahane's captaincy.

"(Rahane's captaincy) has been brilliant so far. We were all a bit worried about how they were going to pick themselves up after Adelaide. I think they looked potentially better today," Ponting told cricket.com.au.

"Rahane's field placements, bowling changes have all been pretty much spot on. With captaincy, making bowling changes and changing the field, you need guys to be able to execute well. Some of the wickets they got today, even Smith at leg slip early on, I think that was a set plan. "Joe Burns' dismissal would have been exactly how they wanted it." Bumrah (4/56) dismissed four Australia batsmen while Siraj (2/40) accounted for two.

Rahane's fifty takes India to 189-5 at tea

Rahane completed a fine half-century as India reached 189 for 5 at tea against Australia on the second day of the second Test here on Sunday.

Rahane (53) and Ravindra Jadeja (4) were at the crease after rain forced an early tea here.

In the second session, India lost the wickets of Hanuma Vihari (21) and Rishabh Pant (29).

Australia were all out for 195 in their first innings on the opening day.

Brief Scores:

Australia 1st innings: 195 all out in 72.3 overs India 1st innings: 189 for 5 in 63.3 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 53 batting; Mitchell Starc 2/35, Pat Cummins 2/51).

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