Ajinkya Rahane opens up on Mohammed Siraj racism incident, says THIS about Sydney Test | Cricket News

Former India captain Ajinkya Rahane was architect of India’s most famous series wins over Australia in the 2020-21 season down under. Team India came from behind after being bowled out for 36 in the opening Test in Adelaide to win the series remarkably 2-1.

During the third Test of the series in Sydney, Indian pace bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj were racially abused by a section of the SCG crowd. The BCCI follows a zero-tolerance policy on racism and thus went on to lodge a formal complaint to the match officials after which the spectators were evicted from the ground.

Rahane, who was leading India in the absence of Virat Kohli, revealed that he told the umpires that they want immediate action to be taken against the accused or else his team won’t play the match.

“When Siraj again came to me (on the fourth day, after being abused the day before), I told the umpires that (they) need to take action and we won’t play till then,” Rahane said on the launch ‘Bandon Mein Tha Dum’, a documentary on India’s historic series win in Australia.

“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,” he added.

The match is remembered for the gritty knocks of Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin, who batted for more than 30 overs on the final day, taking multiple body blows, to help India save the Test. After the historic save, R Ashwin spoke about the incident and revealed that the continuous abuses were very intimidating for the players.

The web series focuses on how the team played extraordinarily high-quality cricket and simultaneously redefined the concept of hard work, perseverance, determination, and commitment, setting the highest standards of sportsmanship while breathing new life into the fading format of Test cricket.

“This has been one of the most satisfying tours for us as a team. We tackled various obstacles to emerge victorious, something which seemed difficult to many outside the team back then. When I took over as the captain, my major focus was to make sure that the morale of the team remained intact. After the first defeat, we managed to come back stronger in the second Test match held in Melbourne. It has been an emotional journey for all of us. However, the second victory was followed by injuries to some of the team`s key players, which gave rise to more challenges. Bandon Mein Tha Dum beautifully encapsulates this journey,” Rahane said.

“The India tour of Australia remains to be amongst most unforgettable experiences as a cricketer. I remember how Hanuma and I were on the field for more than two-and-a-half hours despite enduring some serious injuries. But it was a do or die situation for us. Nothing seemed more important than India’s victory against Australia, and I couldn`t be more proud of being a part of that historic tour. Bandon Mein Tha Dum unfolds an emotional journey that ultimately led to a remarkable victory,” Ashwin added.

(With ANI inputs)

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