India’s eight-wicket win over Australia in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground will go down in history as one of their most memorable Test wins, but if former wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer is to be believed, the magnitude of the win is so big that he feels the Melbourne triumph is on par with India’s World Cup wins in 1983 and 2011.
Under the captaincy of the Kapil Dev, India lifted the Prudential World Cup win in England, beating West Indies in the final, at a time when no one gave the Indian team a chance. The World Cup triumph would go on to put Indian cricket on the map. India would have to wait for another 28 years to repeat the feat, when under MS Dhoni, India won the 2011 World Cup at home, beating Sri Lanka in the final by six wickets.
Lauding the team’s comeback, Engineer reckons India’s MCG win is right up there with some of the most incredible victories the team has achieved over the years.
“It’s a great way to comeback. It would be right up there with India winning the World Cup, with India winning the Test at The Oval (1971) where I was primarily responsible, along with Chandra (Bhagwat Chandrasekhar),” Engineer told SportsKeeda in an interview.
The former wicketkeeper batsman, who played 46 Tests and five ODIs for India between 1961 and 1975, had wonderful words for stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, who led the team brilliantly in the absence of Virat Kohli. Rahane scored his 12th Test ton and was named Player of the Match for his first-innings score of 112 and spot-on bowling changes. Engineer hailed Rahane’s captaincy, saying the batsman proved a point as leader.
“Great recovery for our boys in Australia. Hats off to Ajinkya Rahane and the whole team. Ajinkya Rahane led from the front. He showed them, if I can do it, you guys can do it too. He’s from the backstreets of Mumbai, Shivaji Park. And, he’s a fighter. I have always admired him as a fighter. Fantastic win for India,” Engineer added.
“(Yes) we got out for 36. The Australian bowlers bowled on a perfect line spot, but they were waiting for our batsmen to make mistakes. And, we kept on making the same mistakes. We weren’t coming right behind the ball as we did when we won the match.”
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