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.

Rohit gears up for Sydney Test with first practice session at MCG


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,…

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