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‘Shattered’ India had to forget Adelaide debacle, took 2020-21 series as 3-match series: Rahane

In the day-night Test, the Aussies bowled out India for their lowest-ever total of 36. India went on to win the series 2-1.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 09:27 IST

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Mumbai: Ajinkya Rahane, who masterminded India’s miraculous turnaround in the 2020-21 Test series against Australia, said a regrouping and healing session after the ‘Adelaide Nightmare’ helped the "shattered" team bounce back and win the series 2-1.

In the day-night Test, the Aussies bowled out India for their lowest-ever total of 36.

But the tourists emerged winners in the Tests at Melbourne and Brisbane, besides managing a draw at Sydney despite the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, who flew back to India because of personal reasons.

“I had to literally forget about the 36 all-out and come back into the moment as quickly as possible. We all were shattered that time, everyone was in shock and I thought it was a bad dream,” Rahane recalled during the launch of Fortis Hospital Mulund’s Sports Injury Clinic here on Friday.

“But eventually, the next day when I got up, I realised (that) it (had) actually happened (36 for nine),” said Rahane, who later scored a gritty century in the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne to help India level the series with an eight-wicket win.

Rahane said recovering mentally from suffering such a setback was important and the Indian players were given time off to gather thoughts.

“Before talking to my teammates, I spent a good half-an-hour talking to myself and then tried to convince myself that ‘let’s be in the moment and let’s not focus on the result or the outcome,” he said.

“When you lose a Test or an incident like that happens, your mind goes into the past and also in the future and thinks about the result and the outcome. That's a normal human tendency.”

Rahane said he decided to refrain himself from thinking about cricket for a couple of days “But I had to get my mind in the moment, I said ‘I am not going to think about cricket for the next two days. We are in Adelaide, we are going to think about my own and the team's game plan once we are in Melbourne,” he said.

Rahane also passed a similar message to the team. “That is how I addressed the team, that ‘let’s not discuss cricket for the next two days, enjoy yourself, wherever you want to go, (go and) just clear your mind, we will meet in Melbourne and we will start our journey and campaign there again,” he revealed.

Rahane also had to manage injuries to some key players in that series, but said he revelled in the challenge of digging deep and fielding 11 fit players every Test.

“For us it was all about taking (it as a) three-Test series from Melbourne onwards rather than thinking about (it as) the four-Test series,” he said.

Rahane said it was all about enjoying each other’s success and lending support in a critical phase.

“Whatever has happened in Adelaide was in the past, it was dead, we couldn't control it, so it was all about being in the moment as an athlete, it was all about enjoying each other's success.”

“Once you are enjoying your teammates' success, your mind is in the moment and that's how we actually started doing well from Melbourne onwards and eventually won the series,” he said.

Talking about his own injury setbacks, Rahane said remaining mentally strong helped him overcome them.

“I was playing for KKR (and the) match was in Pune. I had this hamstring injury, which was a Grade 3 tear. In that injury (stage) I actually ran three runs and my physio later on asked me, ‘how did you actually run those three runs?’,” he recalled.

“It was just the mental ability. Because after certain types of injuries, it's your mental health and mental state that take you (forward) and help you get better,” he said.

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Published 28 June 2024, 09:27 IST

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