MUMBAI: While he will always cherish leading India to a famous Test series triumph over Australia during the tour Down Under in the 2020-21 season, there’s one memory that troubled Ajinkya Rahane a lot at the beginning of the series. In the first pink/ball Test at Adelaide in December 2020, Rahane was involved in a bad mix-up with Virat Kohli, which resulted in the Indian captain being run out when he was batting well, for 74. Kohli left the tour after that game for the birth of his child.
At that point, Kohli and Rahane, who was the vice-captain, were putting together a fine partnership. Kohli, especially, was going great guns and almost making the Australians believe that India was going to take the match away from them. Rahane, who was the batsman facing the attack with Kohli on the non-striker’s end, took the lead for a single only to realize that it couldn’t be taken and that caused Kohli his wicket as he had started running almost halfway across the pitch.
Recalling his mistake in that incident and how he apologized to Kohli for it in Neeraj Pandey’s upcoming series, Bandon Mein Tha Dum, Rahane said, “I don’t think I can ever forget that moment. The ball hit my bat but I didn’t gauge how well I’d timed the ball. I thought it was an easy single and going for it was an instinctive call. I took a couple of steps forward and as I did, I saw the ball closing in and then eventually getting inside Hazelwood’s hands. I had to immediately say no and that’s when I knew that this was a terrible turning point in the game and that’s why I had that reaction. I immediately said sorry to him.”
The web series will premiere on June 16. India were shot out for merely 36 in the second innings of the first Test, but famously came back to win the Tests at Melbourne and Brisbane to clinch the series 2-1 dramatically under the captaincy of Rahane.
At the launch of the web series on June 1, Rahane had revealed that he asked the on-field umpires, Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson had offered the option of going back to the dressing room after Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah were racially abused by spectators during the third Test at Sydney, but he and rest of the Indian team insisted that the concerned spectators be evicted from the stands for the game to continue.
“When Siraj again came to me (after being racially abused by the spectators at Sydney), I told the umpires that (they) need to take action and we won’t play till then. The umpires said that you can’t stall the game and can walk out if you want. We said that we are here to play and not sit in the dressing room and insisted on getting the abusers out of the ground. It was important to support our colleague given the situation he had been through. What happened in Sydney was completely wrong,” recalled the Mumbaikar.


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