Former Indian cricketer and a legend of the game, Sunil Gavaskar feels that Ajinkya Rahane's valiant century at the Melbourne Cricket Ground will o down as one of the most important knocks in the history of Indian cricket.
Rahane's position was entirely enviable when Virat Kohli left for home after the Adelaide Test. India were still wounded after the horrifying collapse in the Pink Ball game and were heading towards the MCG Test with three of their senior players out of the team. But he stood at the helm, calm and composed as ever, and waged an impressive fightback against one of the best Test bowling attacks in present world cricket with a knock of 112, the second-highest score by an Indian captain at the venue and fifth overall.
"I believe that this hundred is going to be one of the most important hundreds in the history of Indian cricket," Gavaskar told the Seven Network before start of day 3.
"Important because it's showing character, sending a message to the opposition that after being dismissed for 36 in the previous game, to come back in this manner, this Indian team is not going to just lie down and be walked all over.
"That is the message and that's why I think this is going to be one of the most important hundreds in the history of Indian cricket."
Rahane survived three dropped opportunities but showed ample resilience against the spin and pace attack to stitch fifty-run stands alongside Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant before added a century more alongside Ravindra Jadeja on day 2.
He was eventually dismissed run out on Monday, for the first time in his Test career, after Ravindra Jadeja called for a desperate single to complete his half-century.
Rahane also earned praise from the youngest member of India's playing XI.
"This knock was all about timing and patience," Test debutant Gill said. "Importantly, sometimes against a high-quality bowling attack you go into your shell and then you're not able to score runs.
"But the way Rahane played, it was such a magnificent knock (to watch) from outside.