Lyon was playing his 100th Test for Australia at the Gabba. The 33-year-old is regarded as one of the best Australian off-spinners to ever play Test cricket. Even Rahane wanted to acknowledged that playing 100 Tests as a bowler was an incredible achievement.
Talking to Harsha Bhogle on Ajinkya Rahane’s Facebook page, the 32-year-old explained that although Australia lost the Gabba Test, as well as the series, it was important to treat the opposition with the utmost respect. According to Rahane, the Indian players wanted to show appreciation for what Lyon had achieved in Test cricket.
“We decided that each of us was going to sign that jersey and give it to him (Lyon). I think playing 100 Test matches as a bowler is a really special thing. As a cricketer, as a sportsperson, we have to respect that. Because that is what I learnt from this sport – give respect to each and every individual,” Ajinkya Rahane said.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 19, 2021
Harsha Bhogle noticed that after Ajinkya Rahane lifted the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, he gave it to T Natarajan and let the Test debutant soak in the moment. The seniors in the team like Rahane himself, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin and Rohit Sharma were all in the back row for the team photo.
When asked about this, Ajinkya Rahane explained that it was the contributions of youngsters like Shardul Thakur, Natarajan, Washington Sundar, that won Team India the historic Gabba Test as well as the series. Rahane felt that they deserved to get all the credit and stand with the trophy in the front row.
“The guys who did well, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Natarajan, Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini, we won the Test match and the series because of them,” Ajinkya Rahane asserted.
Team India were absolutely reeling after their annihilation at the Adelaide Oval. They had to continue without skipper Virat Kohli, who was heading back to India on paternity leave.
Despite being low on confidence and marred by injuries, Ajinkya Rahane showed great character to inspire his team to win the series. Like a responsible deputy, the 32-year-old led the team in the absence of their talisman and achieved greatness Down Under.