Behind the Indian resurgence in Melbourne after the winter of 36 were quiet resolve and meticulous planning.
Beneath stand-in captain’s Ajinkya Rahane’s harmless exterior lurks a ruthlessly attacking captain who does not miss a trick with his aggressive bowling changes and field placements.
If we go to the specifics, the manner India dismissed Steve Smith in both the innings is testimony to its think-tank. In the first Test in Adelaide, Smith perished to an under-cutter from the impressive R. Ashwin; it was a delivery of side-spin that went through straight when Smith played for turn.
This dismissal was playing on Smith’s mind when he faced the ace off-spinner in Melbourne in the first innings. Rahane had a ring of fielders around the bat for Smith. Among the catchers, crucially, was a leg-slip. This time,…